More information is now available on how low-income seniors in the Parry Sound region could be eligible for free dental care as outlined in Ontario’s 2019 budget.

While in Bracebridge last week, Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller announced further details about the publicly funded dental program.

Ontarians aged 65 and over with an income of $19,300 or less, or couples with a combined annual income of $32,300 or less, who do not have dental benefits, will qualify for the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program.

Untreated oral health issues can lead to chronic diseases and a reduced quality of life, while also creating a reliance on emergency departments already under increased pressures.

In 2015, there were almost 61,000 hospital emergency visits for dental problems, at a cost to Ontario’s health care system of approximately $31 million.

– Government of Ontario

The services will be accessed through public health units, community health centres and Aboriginal Health Access Centres across the province.

When asked in an earlier interview with RadioWorkz Parry Sound about the lack of public dental clinics in the Parry Sound area, the Parry-Muskoka MPP said he and his staff would look into the matter to ensure the region’s seniors have the dental care they need.

“Parry Sound-Muskoka has a large senior population, many of whom live on a low income,” Miller said while in Bracebridge.

“This program will help them stay healthy and confident.”