I hope this message finds you and family safe and healthy. I have been investigating, researching, and brainstorming with our dental association, colleagues, staff and dental suppliers since the BC state of emergency was declared in March, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. We are all in unchartered territory. I have installed Air-Purifiers with UV-C (anti-viral) and True-Hepa filtration technology to filter out aerosols in my office. I have stationed hand sanitizers throughout the office, removed and/or minimized items of contact in my waiting room and a plexi-glass shield at the reception counter. My assistant, hygienist, and myself will be wearing gowns, face masks, and face-shields during aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs). We are also allowing extra-time between most appointments for safe-transitioning between patients.
My hygiene-coordinator, Caitlin will be working from home and so when you call the office you will be prompted to choose between two lines, one to book an appointment with myself, Dr Giorgio Petricca, and the other line to schedule an appointment with my dental hygienist.
We understand how some patients will have reservations about returning to a dental office immediately and so most dental offices (including our own periodontal & implant office) are doing a “soft-start”. This “soft-start” entails reduced patient traffic, reduced staff, and possibly reduced working days in order to more safely navigate through the initial phase of “going back to work”.
Our office has prepared the office as per the College of Dental Surgeons’ of British Colombia Guidelines, including Work Safe BC and the BC Centre for Disease Control, and in consultation with staff to ensure that both patients safety and the safety of staff are safeguarded. Your dental appointment experience will be quite different that it was pre-Covid-19 (Coronavirus Pandemic).
We appreciate your patience and understanding through these challenging times and look forward to seeing you all soon.
Please complete the Screening form and Patient Consent form as per the requirements of the British Columbia Dental Association. These forms must be emailed at least 24 to 48 hours before appointment. We appreciate your understanding.
please fill out the following Forms
Fill out the Patient Covid 19 Screening Form for Nanaimo Click Here
Fill out the Medical/ Dental History Form Click Here
Existing Patient Medical Dental History Update Form Click Here
Please email forms to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Entering Our Office
Parking: Street parking only. Parking lots are for reserved parking only.
How to Enter Building : We are situated at 495 Dunsmuir Street, Suite 503. There is a Central Drugs and Discovery College on the corner. Parking is on the street and there are no parking meters. The front doors to our building are locked so you will find a directory outside our entrance. PUSH on the DOWNWARD ARROW BUTTON then enter 503 onto the PINPAD followed by the PHONE ICON BUTTON. The phone will ring upstairs to our office. Once answered you will announce yourself. We ask our patient to WAIT 4 seconds BEFORE you OPEN the door.
Cost of Treatment
The BC Dental Association (BCDA) publishes a fee guide every year in February. It is a guide, therefore some practitioners may bill above the guide, some below, and some as recommended by the guide. Our practice more often than not will charge below the fee guide, especially if more than one treatment is being performed simultaneously. Generally speaking, our practice will charge based on the value of our time and the value of the treatment being provided using the BCDA published guide as our primary guide.
Insurance Coverage for Treatment
Our experience has been that many dental insurance companies will use an older fee (older year) and a fee guide for general dentists, then take a percentage of that amount for which to base their coverage.
Interestingly, I am not aware of any dental insurance company that performs a dental exam on a patient before determining coverage. A dental exam would in practice determine what a patient’s individual’s needs are. Thus I am hard pressed to understand the logic behind what they will and will not cover. Our experience has also been that with larger employers (companies, unions, corporations, etc.) coverage is negotiated between the employer and the dental insurance provider. Unfortunately my experience has been that when I talk to patients, many claim to not have been aware of what “benefits” were negotiated on their behalf.
It is important to understand and realize that as a health care provider my job is to diagnose and recommend treatment based on my diagnosis(es).
Q: How much should my implant therapy cost?
It depends on what is needed to provide a successful long-term (i.e. beyond 5 to 10 years). Examples provided on my Dental Implants page exemplifies instances where the success of treatment may have been influenced by cost (i.e a cost savings).
Q: How long do implants last?
It depends on the health and quality of bone AND soft tissue around an implant on the day the restoration (crown, bridge, denture, etc.) was placed, as well as how well the restoration fits onto an implant(s) AND how stable the bite (occlusion) is on the restoration over time.
Explanation of “how well a restoration fits on to/into an implant” depends on:
a) Whether or not original (i.e. not third party or aftermarket) components are used.
b) Whether the restoration has been inserted passively in to the implant (if the restoration is forced to seat into an implant rather than passively then stress will be transferred to the surrounding bone, causing bone loss which is often asymptomatic and CAN go unnoticed).
c) How stable the bite (occlusion) is on the restoration. A natural tooth is connected to its surrounding bone via a periodontal ligament (PDL). This ligament has some “give” such that when we bite hard, we feel some movement in our teeth. This PDL is like a “shock absorber” and since we chew in 3 dimensions, our natural teeth take some degree of stress “side to side.” This “side to side” stress is absorbed somewhat by our ligament. An implant however does not have a ligament, and instead is directly connected (ankylosed) to bone. As such, an implant can tolerate bite forces downs its long axis (i.e. one can stand heavily on top of the restoration on an implant), but it does NOT tolerate “side to side” forces/stress. This is also why if someone grinds their teeth they should be fitted with a “bruxism appliance,” and why a crown on an implant tends to look “flatter” than a natural tooth so that lateral (side to side) forces on an implant are minimized.