Starting August 1, 2021, the qualifications for free, routine dental care will change for low-income seniors in Ontario. The Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program (OSDCP), which is funded by the government of Ontario, is updating the income eligibility thresholds.

Previously, the threshold for eligibility for a single senior was a net income of $19,300 or less a year. The threshold will increase by $2,900 to $22,200. For a senior couple, the threshold was previously $32,300 or less a year, it has increased by $4,800 to $37,100.

Residents of Ontario must be 65 years old or older to apply. Another criteria is that those applying for OSDCP must not have dental benefits including Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), or non-insured health benefits.

Seniors who qualify for the OSDCP program will receive free coverage for non-emergency dental costs. Among other routine services provided, coverage includes the following expenses:

  • Check ups
  • X-rays
  • Anesthesia
  • Broken teeth and cavity repair
  • Infection and pain treatment

The OSDCP does not fully cover dental prosthetics, which includes dentures. For more information about the partial coverage, program participants are directed to speak to their local public health unit. For those in the Grand Bend area that could either be Huron Perth Public Health or Lambton Public Health depending on the county of residence.

Applications for the program under the new thresholds begins July 1, 2021. Coverage for the program, regardless of enrollment date, ends on July 31 each year so that those reapplying may be included under the new criteria. To learn more about the program and how to apply for coverage or renew coverage go to the Ontario government’s page here. Local public health units can also answer questions and assist with an application.