In Canada, incidence of dental or poor oral health related issues among people from low-income families keeps increasing each day. What are the causes of these incidences? It either due to lack of money, little or no coverage for dental procedure for people in low-income brackets. For instance about 6% of Canadians have dental coverage through government dental programs out of 35.16 millions Canadians (CAPHD, n.d). This leaves the remaining 94% to either seek their oral health care coverage through work|private insurance, direct payment and community|NGOs organizations. In particular with community and NGO’s that offer dental coverage for people in low-income families, there are some restrictions as to how much coverage one can receive. For example, a child from a low-income family needs to be a certain age range. With his or her parents making a certain amount annually, depth of the child’s case and sometimes location of parents. Despite the hassle of going through all these processes, there might still be some restriction as to what treatment they might offer.
According to the latest oral health component of the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS):
• 62% of Canadians have private dental insurance
• 78% of respondents from the higher income bracket have private insurance coverage
• 53% of adults between 60 and 79 of age do not have any dental insurance.
50% of respondents from the lower income bracket do not have any dental insurance (CAPHD, n.d).
Hence my question is, if majority of the health care coverage in Canada covers almost everything. Why can’t the government include dental care into that coverage without any restrictions?
Currently, dental coverage in Canada, Ontario to be precise, is limited to people that fall under the low-income bracket.
For example, this is a dental coverage a family can receiver from Healthy Smile Ontario. (NOTE: IT’S BASED ON INCOME LEVELS AND NOT ON NEEDS).
Income level at which a family would qualify for the Healthy Smiles Ontario program
Number of dependent children in household Adjusted family net income
1 child $22,070 or lower
2 children $23,740 or lower
3 children $25,410 or lower
4 children $27,080 or lower
5 children $28,750 or lower
6 children $30,420 or lower
7 children $32,090 or lower
8 children $33,760 or lower
What the program covers
The program covers a full range of preventive and early treatment, including:
• Scaling. Table retrieved from http:\\: www.ontario.ca/page/get-dental-c
To find out more about the dental coverage offered through government programs in Ontario and other provinces in Canada .One can visit the site below for further information.
In summary, I ask the following questions:
1 Why do we as a country, have to put a limitation to an aspect of health coverage?
2 Why is oral health is not classified as important as the other coverage’s under the Ontario health insurance plan (OHIP)?
Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry(n.d).Government Dental Programs.Retrieved from http:\\www.caphd.ca/programs-and-resourc