With so many people self-employed these days, working by contract and even full-time employees who might only be on probation, the reality is many don’t have access to dental coverage. It can be challenging for families juggling multiple household members who need cleanings, perhaps a cavity requires treatment, and then of course if there is a dental emergency, it can’t just be ignored. If this sounds like you, perhaps it’s time to explore alternative coverage options that might help you and/or your dependents who require dental care.
Seniors – Ontario Seniors Dental Care
If you’ve retired and coverage is no longer provided through an employer there may be options for you under a program funded by the Ontario government. This option ensures that lower-income seniors are eligible to receive routine dental care annually. The plan includes such things as regular checkups and cleanings (scaling and fluoride and polishing) along with x-rays, cavity care, and treating gum disease or infection. Ontario residents can apply for the program online.
Young Adults – Post-Secondary School Plans
Heading to University or College is expensive enough and an unplanned dental emergency won’t help. Even regular cleanings and checkups are problematic and have to be scheduled around your child coming home from school, typically during holiday periods. Some dental plans begin excluding family members over the age of 18 or if there is no dental plan – what can you do? Look into programs available through your child’s post-secondary institution. Many offer, as part of their tuition and administration fees, access to both medical and dental care up to certain limits. In the case of many institutions, you are not able to exempt yourself from this coverage unless proof of other insurance is provided, so you might as well take advantage of them! Have the student in your house look into what is available through their educational institution (typically basic dental care with an annual cap) and consider this option to help cover the costs of treatment.
Children Under 17
Similar to the program for seniors, free dental care is available for children under 17 through the Healthy Smiles Program. It too covers things like cleanings, x-rays and cavity fillings, and tooth extractions where necessary. Certain households are automatically enrolled in the program and you can find out more about how this program works through an online application.
Many families may also choose to purchase private health care coverage to help manage their monthly budget. A number of plans exist through private companies and/or you may be able to receive favorable rates through group insurance plans custom-tailored for small business owners and often offered as part of your local Chamber of Commerce or Board of Trade. These plans are specifically designed with the idea of providing cost savings to small business owners through combined purchasing power. A quick Google search will provide a lengthy list of private insurers who offer dental and health care plans and most dental offices (including ours) will accept and work together with a variety of dental care insurance providers to help you better manage both your oral health care and your budget!
If you are without a dental plan and could use a little extra help with managing your expenses consider which of these options might apply to you and/or your dependents. Your teeth, mouth, and gums are an integral part of your overall health and Dentists play an important role in helping you to maintain them. Don’t skip out on dental care because of your budget – chances are there’s an option that’s right for you! The Brinkley Dental Health Care Team in Brampton is dedicated to creating beautiful smiles. Ask us how we can help your family. We’re Brampton’s “gentle dentist” and as always, we’ll end with this friendly reminder: “Don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and brush that smile!”