The Canadian Dental Care Plan: Seniors come first

by | Apr 29, 2024 | Health and Wellness

Oral health care is essential for overall health and well-being. However, many Canadian residents cannot afford to visit an oral health-care professional. A new federal insurance plan will help change that. Beginning in 2024, qualifying Canadian residents without private dental insurance can apply to the Canadian Dental Care Plan for help with those costs.

Coverage under the plan is rolling out in phases. The first group to qualify is seniors. Children under the age of 18 and persons with a disability tax credit certificate can apply as of June. Other Canadian residents between the ages of 18 and 64 will be able to apply for dental coverage in 2025.

The dental care plan will cover a wide range of oral health care, including preventive services provided by participating dental hygienists across the country. These include scaling (cleaning), polishing, sealants and fluoride. Other services covered under the plan include x-rays, fillings, root canal treatments, dentures, periodontal treatment and extractions.

Seniors are especially at risk for the complications caused by poor oral health. Gum disease increases the risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. A sore mouth or loss of teeth can make it difficult to eat, leading to malnutrition. Dry mouth is another concern that often affects seniors and can cause cavities.

Many dental hygienists operate mobile practices and are well-equipped to care for the most vulnerable populations, such as seniors in long-term care or in their own homes, and those with physical or mental impairments and complex medical needs.

With the new Canadian Dental Care Plan and professional oral health care services available from dental hygienists, seniors and all eligible residents in Canada will be able to achieve better overall health. Find more information about the plan and oral health for seniors at dentalhygienecanada.ca

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