Frequently Asked Questions

Do you accept insurance?
Yes we direct bill as a courtesy to our patients. Please provide us with your insurance information at your first appointment.


What are your fees?
Each service we provide has a range depending on the complexity of the treatment needed. The best way to get an accurate estimate is to have an exam with the dentist.


Does Alberta have a regular fee guide?
Unlike some provinces, Alberta does not have a regular fee guide that dentists must follow. Therefore, offices will charge different amounts.


Is there fluoride in the water in Okotoks?
Okotoks removed the fluoride from the water in 2012. Because of this, it is important that people be using fluoridated toothpaste to combat dental decay. Children under the age of 3 should not use fluoridated toothpaste as they swallow much of the toothpaste at that age and could develop fluorosis of the teeth. Children 3-6 can use very small (pea-sized) amounts of fluoridated toothpaste, as they are better able to spit out the toothpaste under parental help and supervision.


Is fluoride dangerous to individuals’ heath?
Studies have been done to see if fluoride has adverse effects on the human body. The only effect seen thus far is dental fluorosis where the teeth develop white spots. More information can be found on the Canadian Dental Association website.


Are x-rays necessary?
Yes, we recommend the small bitewing xrays be taken once a year to see changes between the teeth. Many cavities are not visible to the eye but can be seen clearly on the xray. The large panoramic xray should be taken once every 3-5 years to look at the whole jaw and sinuses – we can monitor for pathology/oral cancer screening and also check children’s teeth development and the presence of wisdom teeth.


My teeth feel fine, do I still need to see a dentist?
Yes, often cavities will not hurt until they get very large. Sometimes by waiting too long, the treatment becomes much more extensive than if an exam had been done earlier. Gum disease can also progress if not caught early and this could lead to tooth loss. Regular hygiene will keep teeth looking and feeling great as well as maintaining oral health. Prevention is a very important concept at Hometown Dental and we would like to help educate our patients in their oral health.


What should I be doing for my teeth and gums between check-ups?
We recommend brushing 2-3 times a day with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Flossing is also very important to clean between the teeth where the toothbrush cannot reach and this should be done at least once per day. Other auxiliary tools can be used such as waterpiks, mouthwash and oil pulling, but should not substitute for bushing and flossing. Brushing your tongue is also a great idea as it can collect food particles and plaque and lead to halitosis (bad breath). Diet is also a huge contributor to oral health! Avoid having a lot of sugar in your diet (there are many hidden sources) as this is what bacteria used to make acid that causes cavities.


When should I bring my child to the dentist?
It is a good idea to get your child accustomed to seeing the dentist when they are young. “The Canadian Dental Association recommends the assessment of infants, by a dentist, within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth or by one year of age”. Decay can progress rapidly in children so it is best to start seeing the dentist early – ideally before there is an issue – and have regular 6 month checkups.


Why bother filling a baby tooth if it’s just going to fall out?
Cavities in baby teeth should not be left as they can cause pain and impact the child’s health. If a cavity is left untreated to the point that the tooth has to be extracted, then often a space maintainer needs to be fabricated to prevent the teeth from shifting and affecting eruption of adult teeth.


What is a rubber dam and is it necessary?
A rubber dam is a sheet of nitrile (also latex in other offices) that is used to isolate the teeth that are being treated. The treatment area is exposed through holes punched in the dam and the dam is held on by a metal ring/clamp. It is used as often as possible as it allows for great isolation of the teeth from soft tissue structures and saliva. It often makes the patient more comfortable and allows the dental team to work faster and more effectively. Composite (white) fillings will only bond effectively if saliva is kept away from the tooth and the rubber dam is very effective at this.


Is root canal therapy related to adverse health effects?
The American Association of Endodontists addressed this myth and noted “There is no valid, scientific evidence linking root canal-treated teeth and disease elsewhere in the body”. You can see their website for more detail on the subject.