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Every nine minutes an emergency room must deal with it. More than 5,000 times a day, a classroom is disrupted by it. For over a third of us, our quality of life is impacted by it. The results are clear in waiting rooms, school offices, and in many homes across the province - the consequences of underfunded public dental programs come back to bite all of us.

It's a pain that targets the most vulnerable members of our communities. Children, low-income families, seniors, and people living with disabilities needlessly suffer from dental problems that go untreated. But it doesn't have to be this way. If proper investments were made in current public dental programs, they can do what they're supposed to - give care to those who can't afford it.

See a list of current public dental programs.

The cost of ignoring the dental needs of the most vulnerable members of our communities is much higher than the price of properly funding these programs. Providing programs that work means people will get the care they need on a regular basis with a dentist of their choice. In the long-term, regular dental care prevents health problems, increases self-esteem and employment opportunities and reduces financial strain on the health-care system.

Dentists are subsidizing public dental programs by as much as $150 million a year, but the problem is too big, and too important, to fix alone. Ontario's dentists have the knowledge, ideas, and passion to work with the government to find a solution.

Keep following our Facebook and Twitter channels and stay tuned for details on how you can get involved.

Current Public Dental Programs

  • Healthy Smiles Ontario

    Provides free preventive, routine, and emergency dental services for children and youth 17 years old and under from low-income households. Visit the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services website for more details.
  • Ontario Works (OW)

    Helps people who are in financial need. Adults between the ages 18-64 covered under OW may be eligible for dental care, depending on where you live in the province. Visit the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services website for more details.
  • Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)

    Provides financial assistance and benefits to people with disabilities and their spouses. People under the ODSP have coverage for basic dental services. Visit the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services website for more details.
  • Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)

    Covers dental surgeries performed in hospitals because they are complex and/or patients have other medical conditions that need monitoring during the procedure.
  • Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program (OSDCP)

    Provides free, routine dental services for low-income seniors who are 65 years of age or older. Visit the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website for more details.
Your Oral Health