Senior citizens in Ontario deserve to be respected and live in dignity. Often obstacles and finances have prohibited some seniors from being able to receive the dental care they require. Ontario is protecting what matters most by providing low-income seniors access to quality dental care through a new publicly-funded dental care program that will begin in late summer 2019.
Untreated oral health issues can lead to chronic diseases and a reduced quality of life, while also creating a reliance on emergency departments already under increased capacity pressures.
Free Dental Care for Low-Income Ontario Seniors
The Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program is a government-funded dental care program. It provides free, routine dental services for low-income seniors who are 65 years of age or older.
- check-ups, including scaling, fluoride and polishing
- repairing broken teeth and cavities
- removing teeth or abnormal tissue (oral surgery)
- treating infection and pain (endodontic services)
- treating gum conditions and diseases (periodontal services)
Dental prosthetics (prosthodontic services), including dentures, will be partially covered. Please speak to your local public health unit for more information.
Once you are enrolled in the program, your coverage period is for up to one year.
Your coverage will end on July 31st every year, no matter when you enroll.
You can apply for the program if you:
- are 65 years of age or older
- are a resident of Ontario
- meet the income requirements:
- an annual net income of $22,200 or less for a single senior
- a combined annual net income of $37,100 or less for a couple
- have no other form of dental benefits, including private insurance or dental coverage under another government program such as Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program or Non-Insured Health Benefits
Your annual income from your tax return will be verified by using your Social Insurance Number (SIN), that you will provide when you apply to the program.
- In 2015, there were almost 61,000 hospital emergency visits for dental problems, at a cost to Ontario’s health care system of approximately $31 million.
- Two-thirds of low-income seniors do not have access to dental insurance.
- Once the program is launched, seniors will be able to get an application form from the ministry’s website or public health unit. Applications will be assessed, and eligible clients will be enrolled in the program.
- By winter 2019, the program will expand to include new dental services in underserviced areas, including through mobile dental buses and an increased number of dental suites in public health units.