Dental care in Canada can be costly, particularly if you do not have dental insurance. Fortunately, several charities, nonprofits, and governmental organization provide free dental clinics, where you can book a free treatment with selected dentists. Depending on your age and needs, you may potentially be eligible for any of these free dental treatment, and If your income is too high to qualify for free treatment, you may still be able to obtain low-cost dental care or a dental insurance plan.
List Of Free Dental Care Programs In Canada
There are several government-funded dental care programs but blow are the most prominent one amongst them.
- Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program (OSDCP)
- Happy Smiles
- Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
- Ontario Works (OW)
Each of these free dental care programs has its own set of eligibility requirements and application procedures. For further information on each of the programs, continue reading below:
Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program (OSDCP)
The Ontario government formally launched the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program (OSDCP) on November 20, 2019, with the goal of providing regular dental services to low-income seniors.
The government expects that by offering regular dental care like as cleanings, checkups, root canals, x-rays, tooth removal and fillings, this program can reduce emergency hospital wait times and enhance the general well-being.
Public Health Units, some Community Health Centers, and Aboriginal Health Access Centres provides this dental care. This is in contrast to the other three free dental care programs, which are provided by private dental clinics.
To be eligible for OSDCP, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be 65 years old or older
- You must be a resident of Ontario
- You must have a combined annual income of $32,300 or less couple) or an annual income of $19,300 or less (single person).
How to apply:
- Go to your local public health unit and pick up an application.
- Fill out the “application form.” Along with completing the online application, the consent part of the application must still be printed, signed, and mailed.
- Fill out the papers and send it to: Ministry of Health, Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program Station P, P.O. Box 159, Toronto, ON M5S 2S7
- You will receive a Healthy Smiles Ontario dental card in the mail once your application has been approved. You will be contacted by phone and/or mail if there is a problem with your application.
Healthy Smiles Ontario provides free dental care to children and teens aged 17 and under.
On January 1, 2016, Healthy Smiles Ontario was formed by uniting several government supported free dental care programs, including: Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program, Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD), and Children in Need of Treatment (CINOT).
Eligibility to apply for Healthy Smiles?
- Your child must be at least 17 years old
- You must live in Ontario
- To register 1 kid, your family must have a household income of $24,129 or less
- For 2 children, your family must have an household income of $25,956 or lower
- For 3 children, household income must be $27,782 or lower
How to apply
- Sign up and fill out the “application form online.”
- The consent part of the application must still be printed, signed, and mailed.
- Fill out the papers and send it to Healthy Smiles Ontario, 33 King Street West, PO Box 645, Oshawa, ON L1H 8X1.
- You will receive a dental card in the mail once your application has been approved. You will be contacted by phone and/or mail if there is a problem with your application.
What is covered by Healthy Smiles?
- Regular dental care
- Gum surgery
- Tooth replacement
- tooth extraction
Is braces covered by Healthy Smiles?
Braces are not covered by Healthy Smiles. Other cosmetic therapies, such as veneers and tooth whitening, are also not covered. Dental implants aren’t covered either.
Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP):
This free dental care is available to people who are eligible for Transitional Health Benefits.
Before delivering dental care, Ontario dentists will need to register with the AccertaWorX online tool to check patient eligibility for the ODSP dental program. As long as the patient is eligible for the ODSP dental benefit, the Dental Special Care treatment plans are valid for five years.
Dental Coverage through Ontario Works:
- Healthy Smiles, which provides free regular dental care to children whose parents receive OW or Temporary Care Assistance, will automatically enroll their children.
- Ontario Works (OW) provides income and employment assistance to those who are temporarily out of work.
- Endodontic service, basic diagnostic, and other oral surgical services are covered by Ontario Works. Some towns, at their discretion, provide emergency Ontario Works dental care to adult recipients aged 18 and above. Patients should check with their local Ontario Works office to see if such a program is available.
Liberal-NDP Dental Care Program
According to the Canadian Parliamentary Budget Officer, an estimated 6.5 million citizens would gain dental coverage under the Liberal-NDP Dental Care Program.
A proposal in the new Liberal-NDP agreement is to create a national dental care program for low-income Canadians to expand the Canada’s public health care system.
Also, families with annual incomes of less than $90,000 without dental insurance would be eligible to apply for the program while those making less than $70,000 annually also would not have to make co-pays and the flat rate fee which otherwise can be charged each time a person makes a claim. Dental fees would be fully covered by the government for any person or family with an income under $70,000.
There are several options for free, low-cost dental treatment if you are unable to obtain dental care owing to a lack of insurance or excessive co-pays and benefit caps with your dental insurance plan.
It’s worth noting that the availability of these services will vary depending on where you live. Some options are available to everyone, while others are dependent on your income level or eligibility for government services.