Schulich to benefit from Healthy Smiles Ontario

Monday, October 4, 2010

A new no-cost dental program is now available throughout Ontario, which will help ensure that eligible kids can establish and maintain good oral health. It will also allow seven local health units including the Middlesex-London Health Unit to divert some of those funds to pay for a $500,000 general anesthetic operating suite for pediatrics at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

"This initiative to build an anesthetic operating suite at Schulich will help children by reducing the wait times for treatment. It will also reduce the pressure on hospital wait times for these procedures, and provide valuable training," Associate Dean and Dentistry Director Dr. Harinder Sandhu told a news conference Friday at the Middlesex-London Health Unit.

Accessing dental care for children can be a challenge for some Ontario families, particularly for those families without dental benefit coverage. The new Healthy Smiles Ontario program will ensure that kids can have regular visits with a dentist or dental hygienist. This program is anticipated to benefit about 130,000 kids throughout the province.

Administered by local health units, the program will provide preventive dental care at no cost to kids who:
• Are 17 years and under.
• Are members of a household with an Adjusted Family Net Income of $20,000 per year or less
• Don't have access to any form of dental coverage.

By making regular trips to a dentist or dental hygienist, kids will be able to prevent cavities and other dental problems that can contribute to diseases later in life. The program will give kids access to services like check-ups, cleaning, fillings, x-rays, scaling and more.