More than 380 low-income families and individuals across the South East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) will receive free dental care thanks to one-time funding allocated to Community Health Centres (CHC).
Over the next few months, each of the five Community Health Centres across the region will be able to provide 81 patients with dentures, and offer more than 300 clients greater access to specialized dental services. The funding, totaling $352,400, will help meet the needs of patients currently waiting to receive treatment and will be allocated as follows:
- Kingston CHC: $150,700
- Gateway CHC: $48,000
- Country Roads CHC: $45,000
- Belleville Quinte West CHC: $54,300
- Rideau Community Health Services: $54,400
This additional allocation brings the total investment in oral health programs for our region over the 2016/17 fiscal year to $849,116; and more than $2.8 million since 2013.
Oral health programs are geared towards meeting the needs of those facing financial barriers and who are at high risk of severe oral health issues. This includes low income seniors, families and individuals without dental insurance.
Oral health services include both preventative measures and treatment. Receiving this care is not only paramount for general oral health but is also fundamental to overall health, well-being and quality of life. Patients do not need to be members of a CHC in order to qualify, but do need to meet eligibility criteria set by the program. For more information please contact your local CHC.
“We are thrilled to provide this allocation, which will continue to help those facing financial barriers receive the care they need. We have already received great feedback from our CHCs, who have seen the positive impacts on patients’ overall health and confidence. By investing in oral health and expanding access to these services, our service providers are in a better position to offer these valuable services.” -Paul Huras, CEO, South East LHIN
“This miracle has been a Godsend for my brother, Andre, because his overall health and self-image were severely undermined by the condition of his mouth. Andre was treated with dignity, and was given a renewed sense of hope and confidence we have not seen in more than 20 years. His new dentures have opened so many possibilities to restore his physical and mental health. We can never thank you enough.” -Lorraine Smith-Champagne, sister of Andre – recipient of dentures funded by the Dental Treatment Assistance Fund, Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health
- One of the South East LHIN’s notable accomplishments in the Integrated Health Services Plan 3 (2013-2016), Better Integration, Better Health Care was initiating oral health programs through CHC’s, to ensure greater access to oral health supports for those who cannot afford it.
- Good oral health is more than just the absence of tooth decay and gum disease. Oral health contributes to mental and social well-being, including self-esteem (Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, 2012).
- Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent and preventable chronic diseases, particularly among children.