You can now add ‘higher prices’ to the list of reasons to put off your next visit to the dentist, alongside ‘awkward small talk’ and ‘pointy tools.’
What happened: Provincial dental associations have increased prices by an average of 5.99% in their dental fee guides, which help dentists determine how to price their services.
- It’s the second straight year of hikes well above the typical 3-4% that was seen from 2017 to 2021. Last year, the average fee increase was even higher, hitting 7.35%.
Why it’s happening: “Dentistry in Canada is facing a significant and unprecedented labour crisis,” Elliot Pobjoy, founder of dental newsletter Morning Floss told The Peak. The labour shortage has driven compensation up, a cost now being borne out by price increases.
- Inflationary pressures have also been a root canal-sized pain for dentists as they pay more for rent, utilities, equipment, and stringent infection prevention measures.
- Pobjoy says there’s no link between the benefit and the hikes, as governments “determine their own reimbursement rates, often much lower than fee guidelines.”
Why it matters: The price of your next dentist visit could cost more after these changes. Though most Canadians have dental coverage, look out for those out-of-pocket costs.—QH