Ontario Launches Free Routine Dental Care for Low-Income SeniorsPublished on December 17, 2019
Program Will Help Keep Seniors Healthy in Northumberland-Peterborough South
Port Hope, ON — As part of its comprehensive plan to end hallway health care, Ontario is investing in programs that keep seniors healthy in their communities longer.
Each year in Ontario, preventable dental issues like gum disease, infections and chronic pain lead to more than 60,000 emergency department visits by patients, of which a significant portion are seniors. Many low-income seniors face challenges accessing regular dental care because they cannot afford it, affecting their overall well-being.
This is why the government is investing approximately $90 million annually for the new Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program (OSDCP), which will provide free routine dental care for eligible low-income seniors across the province. Eligible seniors will have access to a comprehensive range of preventive and restorative dental services that will reduce their reliance on emergency care for dental problems.
Eligible seniors can apply to the program online by visiting ontario.ca/SeniorsDental, calling toll-free to1-833-207-4435 or by picking up a hard copy application form at a local public health unit.
“With the launch of the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program, low-income seniors now have access to the publicly-funded, high-quality dental care they deserve,” said David Piccini, MPP for NorthumberlandPeterborough South. “By keeping seniors healthy, we can help them avoid emergency visits to the hospital, prevent chronic diseases, and increase their quality of life.”
“We know that good dental health reduces the need for more costly medical services,” said Duff Sprague, Executive Director, Community Health Centres of Northumberland. “We are excited to be partners in delivering dental care to eligible seniors covered under the new Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program. To support delivery of these services we have been approved for a capital investment of $244,000 from the Ontario Government which will fund the building of a third dental operatory at our Community Health Centre. With this investment we can deliver more dental care to low income seniors covered under the Ontario Seniors Dental Care program. The Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program will mean expanding our dental care team to meet our communities needs and with an expanded team we can also provide better access to care for eligible seniors living in our rural communities with mobile dental services under the new Ontario Health Team - Northumberland recently announced by the Minister of Health.”
“This is a welcome announcement from the Province,” said Bob Sanderson, Acting Warden, Northumberland County. “This program will have a significant impact in Northumberland County, which has a larger senior population than the provincial average. Free routine dental care will improve physical and mental health, and general quality of life, for many low-income seniors in our community.”
Ontarians aged 65 and over with an income of $19,300 or less, or couples with a combined annual income of $32,300 or less, who do not have dental benefits, will qualify for the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program.
Ontario remains committed to building healthier communities and making life more affordable for everyone, including seniors and their families. Our government will continue to support Ontario’s seniors with access to quality health care they deserve.
It is estimated that 100,000 low-income seniors will benefit annually from this program once fully implemented.
Two-thirds of low-income seniors do not have access to dental insurance.
The new dental care program will be available through public health units, including some mobile dental clinics, as well as participating Community Health Centres (CHCs) and Aboriginal Health Access Centres (AHACs).
The following locations will be administering this service:
o Port Hope Community Health Centre o Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit o Peterborough Public Health Unit
To find out more: Call 416-916-0204 Toll-Free 1-833-207-4435 TTY 1-800-855-0511 ontario.ca/SeniorsDental
Paige Wiggans, Executive Assistant Office of MPP David Piccini 905-372-4000 [email protected]