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Dental care is not part of the universal health care system in Canada. Many Canadians without employer provided dental insurance find dental care unaffordable and struggle with their dental health. Fortunately, there are many social assistance programs offering free dental care.

Smile Care Dental, a dental clinic in Cambridge run by husband-and-wife dentists, would like to help Ontarians find free dental coverage in Ontario. Smile Care Dental believes everyone should have access to dental care. Unfortunately, many Ontarians cannot afford to go to the dentist, risking their health.

Dental care is not covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), unlike other health services. According to the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) conducted by Statistics Canada, almost a quarter of Canadians did not go to the dentist because of the cost. Unless patients have employer or private insurance, many people must pay out of pocket for dental care or avoid going to the dentist altogether.

More than a third of Canadians do not have any dental coverage. Overall, almost 40% of people without coverage have avoided dental care services, compared to 13% of insured patients. Only two-thirds of uninsured Canadians visited the dentist in 2018, compared to nearly 85% of those with coverage.

Inequitable access to essential dental care risks the health of more than 30% of Canadians. Dental care is necessary for maintaining a healthy life. Poor dental health has been linked to severe health issues, such as diabetes and respiratory illness. Regular visits to the dentist for cleaning can prevent serious issues from evolving, including gum disease and oral cancer.

While almost all health concerns are covered under OHIP for Ontario residents, the Ontario healthcare system, with a few exceptions, leaves out dental care. If you struggle to afford the dentist, there are other options for free dental care.

Smile Care Dental champions advocating affordable dental care. To improve access to important dental services, Smile Care Dental has created a list of free dental care programs found in Ontario:

1. Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP): Covers emergency dental services for all Ontario residents with a health card.

2. Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program (OSDCP): Covers routine dental services for low-income Ontario seniors.

3. Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO): Covers routine dental care services for low-income children aged 17 and under.

4. Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP): Covers routine dental care services for adults with a substantial physical or mental disability.

5. Ontario Works (OW): Covers routine dental care services for low-income adults.

6. Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP): Covers emergency dental services for resettled refugees.

7. Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB): Covers most services for First Nations and Inuit peoples.

8. Veteran Affairs Canada (VAC): Coverage for veterans up to $1500 annually, with approval required for services over $1500 per year.

Instead of going to the emergency room of a hospital for urgent pain and infection relief, Ontario residents can take advantage of government-funded programs that make dental care free. Applying for coverage under these programs will protect the health and wallets of Canadians that find the dentist to be financially out of reach.

For more information about how to qualify and apply for free dental coverage in Ontario, Smile Care Dental has a detailed blog to help navigate the process and answer questions people may have.

Contact Info:
Name: Dr. Adam Szymczak
Email: Send Email
Organization: Smile CareDental
Address: 209 Pinebush Rd. Unit #7, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Phone: 519-740-3884

Release ID: 89048253

Name: Dr. Adam Szymczak
Email: Send Email
Organization: Smile CareDental
Address: 209 Pinebush Rd. Unit #7, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada