what's An Independent Dental Hygiene Clinic?
An independent dental hygiene clinic is exactly as it sounds! A clinic run solely by dental hygienists. Alberta has allowed registered dental hygienists to work independently since 2006. Having this option in the community may indicate an increased access to oral healthcare for you. Here at Fairway Dental Hygiene we strive to offer preventative oral healthcare below the Alberta Fee Guide while maintaining a high standard of care. We offer direct billing to most insurance companies and will work with any dentist you would like; even one that is far out of town. The focus at an independent dental hygiene clinic is all about the cleaning experience. There is no dentist on site, just a team of passionate dental hygienists ready to thoroughly inform you about the state of your gums and help you achieve the best hygiene outcome possible.
If I have dental benefits, will it still be covered when I go to see my dentist for exams and treatment?
Typically, yes. We do not charge for our dental hygiene exams at our office, therefore any allotment for dental exams would still be available to use with your dentist. We take basic bitewing x-rays that your dentist should not have to re-take if they are within 6-12mths. If your dentist requests more x-rays other than the bitewing style, they are billed under different codes with your insurance provider. This may be recommended to assess further details of your mouth other than the basic ones we take at Fairway.
*One exception to having more coverage after seeing us would be if you have reached your overall dollar maximum with your benefits provider or if you are not eligible for a certain type of dentist exam or x-ray that you are having done. (example: some insurance plans only cover complete oral exams (aka "New Patient) and panorex x-rays only every 3-5 years for clients. Always check with your specific insurance provider if you are needing a breakdown of plan coverage or pre-authorization details.
Is this the same quality of hygiene treatment (cleaning) that a traditional dental office provides?
Yes! Our hygienists have been trained and are registered/certified to the exact same level that any hygienists would need to work in a dental practice. In fact, the owner has worked in general dental offices for 11+years.
Is there direct billing to insurance companies? How do I pay?
Yes! We are able to work with most insurance companies to offer direct billing. As always, clients are responsible for any balances owing after the insurance has paid their portion. If we cannot get an answer from your insurance company the day of treatment we may require a credit card on file to collect payment later on. No payment will be processed without informing the client first. You can choose any form of payment listed below. This is a courtesy service we offer and we encourage all our clients to have a base understanding of how their insurance plans work. We are here to help you understand your specific plan and will try our best to get a break down of coverage when possible. For clients that are not direct billing an insurance plan, payment of services is expected the day of treatment. We accept cash, Debit, Mastercard, Visa or E-Transfers.
I had x-rays done at Fairway Dental Hygiene and now my dental office wants more x-rays, why is this?
Here at Fairway Dental Hygiene, we take minimalist x-rays that are very specific to providing dental hygiene care. Typically this would include bitewing x-rays of back molars and possibly a few x-rays of the front teeth if needed. These same x-rays can also be used for dentists to diagnose areas of cavities and we have no problems sending these to a dentist for this purpose.
In order for a dentist to have the full scope of your oral health, they MAY require some extra x-rays on top of the basic bitewing x-rays, such as periapical x-rays to zoom in to the roots of certain teeth, or a large full head panorex x-ray to screen you for cysts, tumors, abscesses or to monitor growth in children. Here at Fairway Dental Hygiene we do not take these advanced x-rays because our goal is to focus on your gum health.
Do you provide treatments for kids and what age should they come?
We welcome patients of all ages! It is recommend that children have their first visit by the age of one. This is mainly an information session with parents to review oral homecare and to discuss risk factors for cavities. A quick visual exam will be completed if the child allows us. This is a complimentary "happy visit" that does not include any polish or fluoride. The goal is to keep it fun and increase their comfort level with dental hygiene providers. Usually around the age of three is when kids are able to tolerate their first actual dental hygiene cleaning. We have kids TV shows that can play during appointments and we have a prize box to choose a toy from following the treatment. For children that have sensory anxieties we also offer weighted blankets (this can be used for adults too).
How long are the appointments and how often should I have treatments (cleanings)?
The standard adult new patient appointment is approximately 90 minutes and an existing adult patient appointment is approximately 75 minutes. If we are preforming a mini whitening session following your hygiene treatment, please allow for an extra 30 minutes.
For children and teenagers, the appointments are usually an hour.
Happy visits for toddlers take about 20 minutes.
As for how often we recommend you come, this varies greatly on many factors for each individual person. We assess pocket depths around teeth, bone height, rate of re-accumulation for tarter, bleeding response of gums, systemic health factors, medication, smoking and substance use, homecare diligence etc. After your first completed hygiene session(s) your hygienist will recommend either 3, 4, 6, 9, or 12month recall frequencies.
What happens if I have a cavity?
Here at Fairway Dental Hygiene, we encourage all our patients to visit a dental office at least once a year for routine dental exams. Any concerns regarding cavities, crowns, dentures etc. can be addressed during this dental exam. If, during your hygiene visit, we detect an urgent need to see a dentist (large cavity, abscess, broken tooth etc) and you do not have a current dentist, we can offer a referral to one of our fantastic dentists in the community. A full report of our gum health findings and x-rays can be sent to our referred dentist or to your dentist of choice. Our goal is to work together with other healthcare clinics.
What type of relaxing options are available during treatment?
We love to see our patients feel at home when visiting Fairway Dental Hygiene. Our dental chair will have an ergonomic head pillow, and a heated or cooled relaxation bag is available upon request. We also have regular or weighted blankets for those who prefer to feel cozy and warm; all of which are thoroughly disinfected/washed between uses. There are also TVs in the rooms where we can play music, Netflix or Youtube.
I've been told I need my teeth cleaned multiple times a year. Can I come to Fairway Dental Hygiene for these cleanings and still keep my relationship with my current dental office?
Absolutely! In fact, we encourage this. Oral health is a team approach and we hope to work closely with other dental professionals in order to be able to provide the full scope of care to our clients. Hygiene treatments (cleanings) can be provided by either a dental hygiene clinic OR a dental office. It is always the patients choice to decide where to obtain these services.
What is your clinics re-scheduling/
At Fairway Dental Hygiene, we require at least 48hrs notice to re-schedule or cancel any appointments. This can be done online (if you have signed up for an account) or by phone call/voicemail. If you need to re-schedule or cancel short notice (within 48hrs) because you are sick or have an unexpected emergency please do so by phone call/voicemail. At this time we do not collect a cancellation fee, but if a client has a trend of short notice cancelling/no showing more than 3X's we may need to only allow these clients to book by a short notice "book the day of" list. Thank you for understanding.
What is a breakdown of how a dental hygiene visit is billed?
There are multiple procedures that can be billed during a dental hygiene visit. For a listing of all our services and the prices please look at our "Treatments and Whitening" page.
X-rays will be recommended if you are a new adult patient and have not had them done anywhere else within the year. This is to assess bone health surrounding teeth and to detect any larger tarter build-ups deep below the gum line. We won't routinely take x-rays on children unless the child/family has no access to visit a dentist or if we suspect advanced cavities.
Scaling is billed based on time. Each unit of scale is 15 minutes of us removing stain, plaque and tarter. This can vary significantly from patient to patient and is hard to estimate. For adults that are not "overdue" for treatment and the build-up is within a light-moderate range, the average bill out for scaling is 2-4 units of scale (or 30-60 minutes) with majority of clients being 3 units (45 minutes). The number of teeth a patient has also factors in to the length of time a cleaning takes. Those with a complete upper denture and only the bottom teeth will typically be much quicker than a patient who has all 32 adult teeth. For patients who are overdue by more than a year, have heavier staining, large/tenacious tarter deposits or advanced gum disease, this can be 5+ units of scale and is typically broken up into more than one visit.
Stain removal polishing will be recommended if you have any staining on your teeth or if we are performing whitening.
Fluoride is recommended for cavity prevention (the frequency we recommend for this is based on your unique risk level for cavities).
Desensitizer is used on areas that are cold sensitive.
Whitening can be done to enhance color and esthetics (patient must qualify for whitening- see criteria on "Treatments and Whitening" page. For all qualifying new patients, we offer a trial mini whitening session. For new patients who don't qualify, an alternative take home product will be offered.
Why would a hygienist need x-rays if they can't fix my cavities?
X-rays show us the jaw bone height that supports the teeth. This helps us assess where problematic areas may be and the likelihood of certain teeth becoming loose. For adult patients, and sometimes even teenagers, tarter can build-up heavily below the gum line. This can be extremely difficult to detect by feel alone. As a quality assurance measure, dental hygienists use x-rays as a guide in the mouth to areas that may have bone loss or harmfully deep tarter that would otherwise be missed. If tarter is chronically missed in an area, this can potentially lead to the tooth becoming loose. The x-rays we take can easily be sent to any dentist for cavity diagnoses and treatment; alternatively any x-rays taken by your dentist can be sent to us to perform your hygiene.