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Dentists being advised to charge patients for increased use of PPE

Dentists in COVID-19 hotspots of Toronto, Ottawa, Peel and York regions are being urged to charge an additional fee to cover increased used of PPE during the pandemic. UNSPLASH/H Shaw

The pandemic may make your next visit to the dentist a little more expensive with a surcharge added to your bill to cover the cost of masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment.

The Ontario Dental Association says its giving members the option of charging patients between $8 and $18 per appointment to help defray these additional costs.

ODA President Dr. Lesli Hapak says one of her colleagues found that other professionals are doing the same thing.

“They had a plumber come into the dental office and when they received the invoice, there was a PPE charge. So its not uncommon given the environment we are in today.”

Dr. Hapak says dentists are urged to be up front with patients about the fee and why it is being charged.

“Providing a safe work environment for our patients, for our staff and for ourselves,” explained Hapak. “Everything that we do throughout this pandemic is keeping health and safety in mind.”

Right now only 10 per cent of Ontario’s 9,000 dentists are charging a fee but that could change based on advice from the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario to clinics in the COVID-19 hotspots of Toronto, Ottawa, Peel and York regions which may be urged to increase PPE use.