According to the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), seniors are more likely than any other age group to have lost all of their natural teeth. For low-income seniors, this statistic is even more alarming. Dental care can be expensive, and without insurance, many seniors simply cannot afford it.
There are a few options available for low-income seniors who need dental care. Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program provides some coverage for dental services for seniors who are 65 years of age or older and who have a limited income. There are also a number of community clinics across the province that offer low-cost dental care.
If you are a member of the Ontario Seniors Dental Care programme, please call your local public health unit for assistance with your dental requirements and information on when services will resume in your region.
About the Program
The Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program is a government-funded dental care program for seniors in Ontario. It provides low-income seniors aged 65 and up with free routine dental care. The new Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program (OSDCP) offers free dental care to seniors aged 65 and up who fulfil the income requirements and do not have dental coverage through private insurance or other government programmes. A single senior must have an annual income of less than $22,200, and a senior couple must have a combined yearly income of less than $37,100 to qualify for OSDCP.
The new OSDCP income eligibility is determined by a senior’s net income (line 236 from their income tax forms). Seniors can apply either online or in person at their local public health unit’s office.
The following topics are covered:
- scaling, fluoride, and polishing examinations
- repairing cavities and broken teeth
- tooth extraction or aberrant tissue removal (oral surgery)
- Infection and pain management (endodontic services)
- treating gum illnesses and disorders (periodontal services)
Dentures and other dental prosthesis (prosthodontic services) will be partially covered. For further information, contact your local public health department.
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. Learn more about renewing your yearly coverage.
If you meet the following criteria, you may apply for the programme:
- are 65 years old or older and live in Ontario and meet the following income requirements:
- a single senior with an annual net income of $22,200 or a couple with an annual net income of $37,100 have no other dental benefits, including private insurance or dental coverage through another government programme such as Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program, or Non-Insured Health Benefits
Your Social Insurance Number (SIN), which you will submit when you apply to the programme, will be used to verify your income. Your SIN will be used to validate your new annual income from your tax return. Learn how to apply if you don’t have a Social Security number.
How to Apply?
You can apply for the programme either online or through the mail.
You must submit two separate applications if you are applying with your husband or common-law partner.
You’ll need the following items before you start the online application:
- to have submitted your taxes last year
- you’ll need your date of birth,
- a valid Ontario address,
- your Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- Temporary Taxation Number (TTN).
Please submit the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program application through guarantor form if you do not have a SIN or have not filed taxes in the preceding year.
Apply through the Website
To apply online:
- Fill out the online application form.
- Please print and complete the consent form.
- Within 30 days, mail the completed consent form to: Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program
Station P, P.O. Box
159 Toronto, ON
Apply via Mail
To apply via mail, go to:
- You can either download and print the application form or pick one up at your local public health unit.
- Fill out the application form completely.
- Completed forms should be mailed to: Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program Station P, P.O. Box 159, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2S7.
List of Eligible Guarantors
A guarantor must be a practicing member, in good standing with a provincial regulatory body, serving as a:
- doctor (physician or surgeon)
- dentist or dental hygienist
- professional accountant
- professional engineer
- social worker or social service worker
- teacher, vice-principal or principal in a primary or secondary school
- judge or Justice of the Peace
- municipal, provincial or First Nations police officer or constable
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer or constable
- member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
- minister of religion authorized under provincial law to perform marriages
- municipal clerk or treasurer who is a member of the Association of Municipal Managers or Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario
- notary public
- professor in a university, a senior administrator in a community college
- signing officer of a bank
What to Keep in Mind After You Apply?
If there are any issues with your application or if your application is incomplete after you have finished and submitted it, you will be informed by phone and/or mail. If your application is granted, you will receive a welcome package in the mail, as well as a dental card that will expire on July 31st. The welcome package will inform you of the following:
- how to use the services
- where can I schedule an appointment?
- How can I schedule an appointment?
- what you’ll need at each appointment
- To get services under the programme, you must provide your card to your dental professional at each appointment.
Find a Dentist Who Participates
Please contact your local public health unit for information on where to get services and what services are available near you.
If you are approved into the programme, you will be able to use the following dental services:
- Community Health Centres
- Aboriginal Health Access Centres
- Public Health Units.
The availability of a comprehensive range of dental services will differ by province. In the coming year, the programme will continue to grow.
Renew Your Yearly Coverage
Most clients’ eligibility will be automatically reviewed every year to ensure registration for the following benefit period. If you are eligible to continue participating in the programme, you will be notified by letter, along with instructions on how to reapply if necessary.
You must apply again if: You used a guarantor and did not file taxes for the two most recent tax years for which your eligibility is being considered.
Change the Information in Your Account
You must fill out and submit a change of information form if you are enrolled in the programme and want to make changes to your account. Please return your completed form to:
Station P, P.O. Box 159, Toronto, Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program
Questions and Resources
If you have any questions or need to replace your dental card, please contact the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program: