Cost is the top reason why many Canadians are not able to get regular dental care.
In many cases, a typical dentist charges $75 to $200 for a professional dental cleaning without an x-ray and $100 to $300 with an x-ray. The cost for filling cavities can range from $80 to $325, while dentures and braces can rack up to a few thousand dollars.
Whether you are retired, on a limited income, unemployed, or lack dental coverage, the expensive cost of getting regular dental care puts you at serious risk of various dental problems, such as gum disease, infection, pain, and premature tooth loss.
Permanent Canadian residents living in Ontario province are qualified for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). However, OHIP does not cover dental care, unless a surgical procedure is performed in a hospital. Unless your employer is willing to offer a dental plan as part of your benefits package or you can afford private insurance, make sure you know where to look for free or low-cost dental care.
Where to Find Free or Low-Cost Dental Care
Fortunately, people without dental insurance can find free or low-cost dental in Ontario. Some community health organizations provide dental professionals who offer affordable services for those who cannot pay for dental care. Others even offer specialized dental services at a much lower price.
Here are some tips where to turn to when looking for affordable dental care:
- Dental Colleges or Universities
One of the most common places to look for affordable dental care and treatment in Ontario is dental colleges or universities. Students in the dental program perform services, such as dental checkups, cleanings, extractions, and fillings, but under the supervision of licensed dentists serving as instructors. However, you must meet their requirements to be eligible for their dental care services.
Majority of schools running dental clinics where students treat patients offer services at reduced rates. You only need to pay half or even less for their dental services, compared with what licensed dentists charge.
- Public Health Dental Clinic
There are also public health programs that offer low-cost dental care. Contact the public health department in your province or city to find out the schedule for public dental clinics. You can also ask them for information about their emergency services in case you accidentally break a tooth or suffer any form of mouth trauma. While they may also offer free services, they are mostly offered to eligible children and seniors. If your child needs dental care, check the Children in Need of Treatment (CINOT) program to check if your child meets the eligibility requirements. They will be qualified for free dental care and emergency services.
- Online Fundraising
Some people use crowdfunding as a solution for finding financial relief to cover the cost of expensive dental work. There is no shame in asking for financial help from people who care about your health and welfare. In many cases, sharing your story online can move strangers to help and donate.
Crowdfunding is also a great way to receive support from your community, which can be priceless, especially when you need help the most. Take time to research the best crowdfunding sites to determine which works best for your needs. After gathering the funds, make sure to book an appointment in one of the most trusted dental clinics in Ontario, including:
- Clinical Trials
If you are experiencing a particular condition that affects your dental health, you may be eligible to enter a clinical trial. Clinical trials are free but for a good reason. Entering a clinical trial means you allow practitioners to try out untested medications or new techniques that are still unapproved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While there is no certainty for the results, the medical professionals will inform you about the potential side effects before you enter the trial.