Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some questions commonly asked of the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia.  If you have a question that has not been answered here, please email us at questions@pdbns.ca and we will do our best to respond and we may share your question (anonymously) with others here.


Can I find out if my dentist has had any complaints against them or been the recipient of any disciplinary action?

All complaints investigated by the Provincial Dental Board are confidential. However, if the Discipline Committee has made a decision and the applicable appeal period has expired, the decision can be shared with the public.


What are the rules for transferring patient records?

The patient is entitled to a copy of their dental records when requested. The dentist may charge a reasonable fee for duplication of the records.


How can I find a new dentist?

The Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia cannot provide referrals to dentists. You may want to ask friends, relatives or neighbours if they have a dentist they would recommend.


I am not satisfied with my treatment. How can I get my money back?

Under its enabling legislation, the Dental Act, the Provincial Dental Board has no authority to require a dentist to provide a refund. Because of the nature of dental treatment, dentists cannot guarantee a successful outcome of a treatment. If you are unhappy with a treatment, the Board recommends you discuss this with your dentist, or obtain a second opinion.


My dentist charged me more that the Fee Guide for a recent treatment.

The Fee Guide is only a guide for what dentists may charge for any particular treatment. Dentists may set their own fees. For more information on the Suggested Fee Guide please go to www.nsda.org.


My dentist just charged me over my dental insurance coverage for a treatment. He didn't tell me that I would have to pay anything.

Your dental insurance plan was negotiated between your employer and the insurance company. They made decisions on what treatments would be covered for employees, the level of coverage and any yearly or lifetime maximum amounts of coverage. There are as many different dental insurance plans as there are employers, and the coverage can change from year to year. Therefore, it is impossible for your dentist's office to always know how much your dental insurance plan will pay for a treatment, or if you have any coverage left. If you have specific questions about what is covered by your dental insurance plan, you can obtain information from your employer or the insurance company. You can also ask your dental office to submit a "pre-determination" for a treatment to the insurance company. This is an estimate from the dentist for a treatment, and the insurance company will send you a statement of how much of the treatment will be covered.


Can a dentist dismiss me as a patient?

Yes, a dentist can dismiss you as a patient. He/she having undertaken the care of a patient shall not discontinue that care without first having given notice of that intention and shall endeavor to arrange for continuity of care with colleagues. He/she should be available for emergency care until such time as another dentist has taken over your care.


I need some clinical advice, who do I ask?

Clinical advice about dental procedures and/or dental treatment should be directed to a dentist.


Can I have access to my dental records?

Yes, generally speaking, patients have a right to examine and obtain a copy of their dental records including reports from other practitioners. This request should be in writing. The dentist may charge a reasonable fee for duplicating the records.