The Middlesex-London Health Unit opened its new dental services office in Strathroy this morning, significantly increasing the agency’s capacity to deliver routine dental services to low-income seniors and children under the age of 17 who come from low-income families. The Health Unit currently offers these services through the dental clinic at its Citi Plaza offices in downtown London; however, demand has surpassed expectations, resulting in several months of delay between when a patient books their appointment and when they are seen by a dentist.
The new clinic will provide services only to patients who qualify through the Province’s Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program and the Healthy Smiles Ontario Program.
“We know that good oral health is an essential part of overall health. The public health dental services and procedures we will be able to offer in this new Strathroy location are in such high demand right now, that we have a waiting list that grows every day,” says Dr. Alex Summers, Medical Officer of Health with the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “With the opening of this new clinic today, we will be able to address that backlog and ensure that people who are in need are able to access the services they require more quickly.”
Located in The Shops on Sydenham, the new dental services office was made possible through a $1.05 million capital-funding grant from the Ontario Ministry of Health. Construction of the new space was completed by CCS Contractors, which won the contract after a competitive bid process.
With its four operatories, the new clinic will be able to welcome up to 20 patients a day once it is fully staffed. Services will be provided free of charge to qualifying low-income seniors over the age of 65 and to children under the age of 17 who come from qualifying low-income families. Free services provided through the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program include check-ups and cleanings, x-rays, fixing cavities, oral surgery, endodontic services and treating gum conditions and diseases.
Seniors who would like to learn more about the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program, or how to apply for the program can visit www.ontario.ca/page/dental-care-low-income-seniors. They may also call the Health Unit at 519-663-5317. Families who would like to learn more about the Health Smiles Ontario Program, or would like to apply can visit: www.ontario.ca/page/services-covered-by-healthy-smiles-ontario.
Dan Flaherty, Communications Manager, Middlesex-London Health Unit,
519-663-5317 ext.2469 or 519-617-0570 (cell.)