Helpful Information Prior to Your First Visit
In the interest of keeping you well-informed prior to your initial visit, Ahpin Dental Centre invites new patients to take a few moments and browse some of our most frequently asked questions. Should you not find the answer to your specific question listed here, please feel free to contact us and one of our friendly associates would be more than happy to provide assistance!
Q. Why do I have to leave a credit card number with you?
A. It is an option for you to leave your credit card information with us. The credit card policy was implemented in January 2004 to alleviate some of the problems we were experiencing with small balances owed on accounts. Sending monthly statements has become very expensive and time-consuming, so having the credit card number to bill those small balances helps eliminate that cost and time for us. If you choose not to leave the credit card number with us, you will be required to pay for your services in full and we will submit your claim to your carrier for you and have the payment directed to you.
Q. Does Dr. Ahpin make dentures?
A. No, Dr. Ahpin doesn’t make dentures anymore. There are a few denturists here in the Stony Plain/Spruce Grove areas with on-site laboratories that are better able to service the patient with adjustments and repairs needed after the initial placement.
Q. Does Dr. Ahpin do root canals, wisdom teeth extractions and sedation?
A. Yes, Dr. Ahpin does the full range of treatments, including periodontic surgeries, extractions, root canals, crowns and bridgework. We do not refer to specialists very often, but will do so if the treatment does require a specialist. If you want a general anaesthetic, you will need a specialist for that and we can provide that information for you. Root canals and wisdom teeth are considered under basic treatment benefits of most plans, and there is no need to refer to a specialist unless there are extenuating circumstances or difficulties.
Q. Do you keep track of my benefit information like maximums and limitations so I won’t be billed for anything?
A. No, there are so many benefit carriers and over 600 different policies, so the only information we get on coverage and benefits is from you. We have no direct contact from benefit carriers about coverage or maximums, so if your coverage changes, you will need to bring that information in to your next appointment. If you are concerned about exceeding your benefits allowed during the year, please contact your carrier before your appointment to determine if you have enough benefits for your treatment. We also rely on you to give us the frequency information for your checkups and cleanings, which is how often you are allowed to visit us. Please obtain that information prior to your visit with us to ensure your visit will be covered.
Q. Is Dr. Ahpin a qualified orthodontist?
A. Dr. Ahpin took his specialty in orthodontics in Edinburgh, Scotland. When he came to Canada, he challenged the board exams for general practice but the Canadian Dental Association does not allow you to challenge a specialty. He would have had to re-take the orthodontic course, so he is not licensed as an orthodontist in Canada, and he practices as a GP (General Practitioner). We currently have quite a few adults and children in full treatment and have two qualified orthodontic assistants on staff. Dr. Ahpin and his assistants are always involved in continuing education for all areas of dentistry, including orthodontics.
Q. How old should my child be before I bring him/her to the dentist for the first time?
A. Dr. Ahpin usually starts to see children between three and four years old. He will do an exam on the first visit just to introduce the environment to the child in a nonthreatening manner. He should definitely see your child sooner if you notice anything out of the ordinary that concerns you before that four-year mark. Remember to be brushing their teeth regularly and flossing too. Their teeth should last their lifetime! Your child could benefit from a visit with the hygienist beginning at age 1. At this appointment, you will receive instruction and information on caring for your child’s teeth. See our Children’s Hygiene page for further information.
Q. What is the Mercy Day and how does it work?
A. Mercy Day is a day of free dentistry for those who do not have dental coverage or the means of paying the cost themselves. It is always on a Saturday in September. We do not pre-book appointments; patients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis and must choose to see either the dentist or the hygienist. Hygiene times fill up quickly and sometimes those who come later find the hygiene time is already filled. We encourage you to tell someone you know who could use these services. Next date: Saturday, September 19, 2015.
Q. What do I need to bring to my appointment in order to submit my claim to my carrier?
A. In order for us to submit a claim to your carrier, you will need to provide us with the policy number, and/or group number, your ID number (may or may not be your SIN), the name of the carrier and percentage of coverage. If your employer has provided you with a benefit booklet, we would keep a copy of the dental information in your chart for reference, but it is not necessary to submit a claim. You will also need to leave a credit card number on file with authorization for us to process any balance not covered – view our Payment Policy. You will also need to complete a medical history and will be required to list your medications. We will note your Alberta Health Care number for any triplicate prescriptions you may need in the future.
Q. How far ahead do I need to book an appointment?
A. It depends what the appointment is for. If you are looking for an appointment with Dr. Ahpin, he is usually booked one to two weeks ahead for regular appointments. Emergency appointments for existing patients are seen as soon as possible. Hygiene appointments are usually booked approximately six weeks ahead. However, for appointments during peak times such as Thursday evening, Saturday or after school, they are booked sometimes months in advance. We can put you on a priority list to be phoned for changes in our schedule. This helps us out too. Cancellations inconvenience patients who would like to come in sooner, not to mention Dr. Ahpin.
Q. Are you taking new patients?
A. Yes, our dental health professionals welcome new patients looking for dental and hygiene care, and we thank our loyal patients for their referrals. If you are new to the community, you will have received a coupon in your Welcome Wagon basket for a complimentary new patient exam and two bitewing x-rays when you have a cleaning done at that same time.