Thank you for choosing Handala Dental!
This policy governs all transactions with Handala Dental Ltd. located at:
5730 Young Street, Halifax NS, B3K 5L3.
We are dedicated to providing our patients with the best possible oral healthcare services.
If you have any questions about any aspect of this policy, please do not hesitate to discuss them with us.
Please arrive at least 10 minutes early to sign in & complete your registration.
Remember to bring with you to the appointment:
- your health card
- dental insurance cards of all policies you’re covered under
- any dental appliances that you are using (sportsguards, nightguards, retainers, aligners, bleaching trays, etc.)
- a list of medications you are taking – if extensive, ask your pharmacy for a print-out
Walk-ins for true dental emergencies will be evaluated and examined on a first-come, first-serve basis without a guarantee of treatment that day.
All new patients to the clinic will be required to schedule an ‘orientation visit’ with a complete oral examination and diagnosis.
This appointment will include the following:
- A medical and dental history intake and review
- Full clinical examination
- Digital scans and radiographs as required
- Diagnoses and treatment plan
A comprehensive diagnosis of your oral and dental health will be presented to you with the recommendation for treatment and follow-up.
New patients must have this orientation visit completed with Dr. Awad before commencing with any dental hygiene or dental treatment appointments.
If you are interested in being provided only limited service, please refer to the section “Limited Treatment”
CHECK-UPS & CLEANINGS (Recall Exams and Dental Hygiene)
Recall exams and dental hygiene appointments are referred to as ‘maintenance visits’ or ‘dental maintenance’.
Following through with your dental maintenance appointments will improve the health of your teeth and surrounding tissues as well as decrease the incidence of complex dental procedures by early diagnosing.
Frequency and length of maintenance visits are variable from person to person due to many factors including but not limited to the history of your dental conditions, current oral and dental health, medical conditions and medications. Dr. Awad’s recommendations for these appointments will be noted in your chart and discussed with you at your orientation visit. As your personal needs and oral health conditions change, we may recommend modifying your maintenance visits.
You are safe to disclose to Dr. Awad your limitations to keeping these appointments at the recommended frequency and length.
We will work with you to adapt your maintenance visits to meet your personal needs.
At Handala Dental, we respect and understand patient’s limitations when it comes to access to care and are willing to provide patients with ‘limited visits.’
With or without having an orientation visit or subsequent maintenance visits as outlined above for any reason you are able to seek care that is limited to your immediate concerns. When you schedule a ‘limited visit’ you will be asked a few questions to allow us to book you in accordingly for an appointment that may include:
A chat and consultation only
A limited exam and diagnosis, with treatment discussion and planning
An emergency exam and diagnosis, with or without treatment
We work to ensure all of our patients have fast and comprehensive access to our services.
To avoid any cancellation charges, ensure appointments are kept and that any rescheduling or cancellations are made with 2 business days advanced notice.
Any no show or late cancellation will be charged a $50.00 fee per appointment per person.
Specialist referrals will be made on your behalf, however any missed appointments with them are subject to the policies of that office.
Patients have the full autonomy to make their own treatment decisions. Patients will be informed of their diagnosis and the recommended courses of action. Patients will be given the opportunity to ask questions, to seek more specialized opinions or to receive care elsewhere. For certain procedures, patients will be asked to read and sign consent forms that indicate the details of the information provided. Consent is implied and continuous so long as the patient continues to present to the clinic and commence treatment. Patients have the right to retract their consent at any point. Retracting consent or failing to provide consent for recommended treatment will place limitations on the services we are able to provide and the resulting outcomes.
All of our x-ray equipment, and accessories, conform to the Federal requirements of the Radiation Emitting Devices Act and the Food and Drugs Act and are installed to criteria conforming to regulations. All of our operators are licensed to the standards of the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia. We are committed to your safety and aim to decrease your exposure to radiation following the as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) principle. We limit the number of radiographs we expose you to by customizing the frequency of your routine radiographs during maintenance visits to the condition of your oral and dental health; we take radiographs on an as-needed basis. We use digital radiography which uses a decreased exposure time and dosage of radiation.
Declining to obtain a recommended radiograph may limit the diagnosis of your condition and affect your treatment and its potential outcomes.
Based on the current scientific evidence and the Canadian Dental Association’s position on fluoride we recognize and support its use in the clinical setting as preventive treatments and as part of daily care products.
We follow the Canadian Dental Association’s position on dental amalgam and recognize and support its use as a strong, effective and safe filling material and may be the recommended material for use in certain clinical situations.
All dental treatment plans require the teeth and gums to be disease free in order to have a satisfactory result and long-term outcome. To obtain this, it is the patient’s responsibility to achieve and maintain oral health through phased treatment, dental maintenance and at-home care. We hold the right to deny non-urgent treatment until the status of your oral health is improved.
Compliance with instructions given to you after treatment is required in order to have adequate healing and satisfactory outcomes. Failure to comply with such instructions may result in prolonged healing phases and/or unsatisfactory outcomes.
Patients are to disclose all information to the best of their ability during the intake process and continuing care. Patients are to disclose any changes they have had in their medical or dental conditions at their subsequent appointments.
All dental and/or oral health treatments being undertaken outside of our clinic’s supervision must be disclosed when being provided services at Handala Dental. These treatments include but are not limited to services being provided elsewhere as well as any direct-to-consumer orthodontic appliances (clear aligners), snap-on veneers, mouth guards, and teeth whitening products. If not disclosed, these treatments may compromise the services being provided at Handala Dental. Any consequent oral health complications resulting from treatments happening outside of our supervision are the patient’s sole responsibility.
We request that there be no audio or video recording without our consent.
FINANCIALS AND BILLINGS
At the end of your appointment you will receive a statement outlining the services that were performed. Full payment is due on the day services are provided.
For your convenience, we accept cash, debit (Interac), credit (Visa, MasterCard, AmericanExpress), mobile (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, etc.), and Cheques.
Please note that there will be a $ 50.00 fee charged for cheques that return NSF.
Dental Codes and Fees
Handala Dental uses the Uniform System of Coding and List of Services as prepared and published by the Third Party Dental Plans Committee of the Canadian Dental Association. This is an annually revised numerical listing of all recognized procedures performed by a dental care provider in the performance of the practice of dentistry.
These codes are used during planning and billing of procedures rendered.
Our fees are reflective of the most current Nova Scotia Dental Association’s Suggested Fee Guide for Dental Services Provided by General Practitioners. Fees billed to administrators of federal and provincial benefits will be modified to meet those specific fee guides as presented in this policy.
Financing Non-covered Dental Services
At our patient’s request, we will evaluate the patient's needs and may offer payment plans. Such payment plans and their detailed terms must be agreed upon prior to commencement of treatment. A signed contract will be required and strict adherence to its terms is expected.
We reserve the right to grant or decline such requests on a case by case basis.
Past Due Accounts
Patients are fully responsible for all fees charged by Handala Dental regardless of insurance coverage.
Accounts that are more than 90 days past due may be turned over to a collections agency and any additional collection fees or charges will be the responsibility of the patient.
Dental Insurance Coverage
Patients are required to provide correct information for all of the policies (private and/or public) that they are covered under. Failure to provide accurate information is considered a misrepresentation of fact and may account as intended fraud. Dental insurance rarely covers 100% of the service provided. Patients are responsible for knowing and understanding their insurance policies, their coverage and eligibility.
Private dental insurance includes any personally purchased plans or group purchased plans through employers.
This includes any spousal or other secondary coverage that the patient may have benefits under.
Public dental coverage under any of the below federal or provincial programs are payers of last resort whereby private insurance benefits must be accessed first.
Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
The Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), administered by Medavie Blue Cross, provides eligible beneficieries urgent dental care as supplemental coverage on an interim basis. Eligible beneficiaries include, resettled refugees, protected persons in Canada, refugee claimants, victims of human trafficking and detainees.
Patients are responsible for understanding and knowing the dental coverage of your IFHP plan.
Patients must provide the eight-digit client ID number indicated on the IFHP Certificate of Eligibility or the Refugee Protection Claimant Document.
Department of Indigenous Services Canada
Non-insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program, administered by Express Scripts Canada, provides eligible First Nations and Inuit with coverage for a range of medically necessary health benefits when these benefits are not otherwise covered by: private health insurance plans, provincial/territorial health insurance plans, social programs.
Patients are responsible for understanding and knowing the dental coverage of your NIHB plan.
Patients will need to show your dental provider one of the following: Indian Status Card, Northwest Territories Gov. Health Card, Nunavut Gov. Health Card, NIHB Client Identification Number (N-Number)
Nova Scotia’s Department of Health and Wellness (DHW)
Administered by Green Shield Canada, the below programs require a valid NS MSI Health Card.
Children Oral Health Program (COHP)
The DHW’s COHP is offered to Nova Scotian residents age 14 or younger who
have a valid Nova Scotia MSI Health Card.
Individuals with Special Needs Oral Health Program (SNP)
The DHW’s SNP is designed to meet the basic dental needs of Nova Scotia residents who have been diagnosed by a Medical Specialist to have an intellectual disability to a degree where chair management for dental services is untenable and whose dental needs may necessitate delivery in a hospital setting under a general anesthetic or acceptable alternative. A registration form must be completed by our office in coordination with the medical specialist for submission to the DHW for approval.
Exceptional Circumstances Request (ECR)
The DHW’s ECR program provides benefits for treatment services for reasons of medical necessity where the service is not insured by an existing DHW dental program. An application form must be submitted by our office to the DHW requesting coverage on the basis of medical necessity and elgibility must be approved before commencing treatment.
Nova Scotia’s Department of Community Services (DCS)
Employment Support and Income Assistance (ESIA) Program
Administered by Green Shield Canada, the ESIA program requires a valid NS Health Card.
Eligible recipients of the Employment Support & Income Assistance (ESIA) Program have coverage for dental procedures that require immediate attention and are:
- for the relief of pain;
- for control of prolonged bleeding;
- for treatment of swollen tissue;
- for provision or repair of broken dentures; and/or
- for dental problems identified as barriers to employment
The program is not intended to provide comprehensive or preventative basic dental care.
One of the goals of this program is to facilitate the beneficiaries movement toward independence and self-sufficiency and we are happy to be involved in this facilitation.
Direct-Billing and Assignment of Benefits
Our office can submit insurance claims on behalf of the patients (direct-billing) and request their insurance company to pay the dental office directly (assignment of benefits). If payments are not received within 60 days from the insurance company, the balance becomes the patient’s responsibility. If the insurance company pays the subscriber directly and payment is not made to our office within 14 days, an additional $50.00 charge will be applied.
Patients are required to sign the authorization for direct-billing and assignment of benefits on the intake forms. The authorization may be revoked at the patient’s request in writing.
Deductibles: amounts deducted from insurance claim payments that are the responsibility of the insured. Patients are responsible for understanding the deductibles on their policies and are responsible for its payment.
Coordination of Benefits: if multiple policies are to be billed, we offer the service of submitting the coordination of our patient’s dental insurance benefits. This means that the balance from the first insurance payment will be billed to the second insurance policy before any co-payments are billed to the patient.
Co-payments: after dental insurances are billed, any balance remaining from amounts that are not covered will be billed to the patient as a co-payment and is the patient’s responsibility to pay.
Pre-determinations for Dental Insurance
Major work such as dentures, crowns, bridges, implants, and orthodontics require predeterminations to be submitted to your dental insurance before treatment can be completed. We provide the service of submitting pre-determinations on our patient’s behalf. Insurance companies send approvals to the patients directly by mail in 10-15 days usually. Insurance companies will typically not release predetermination information to us and it is the patient’s responsibility to communicate with us when they receive it.