Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Dental Health Programs - No-cost or Low-cost 

Regular visits to a dental office are very important for a person’s overall health and well-being. Seeing your dental care professional regularly allows for them to watch your dental health  and recommend necessary treatment, before the need becomes urgent.

The cost of dental treatment is difficult financially for many families who do not have dental coverage.  No child with urgent dental needs should go without dental treatment because of financial difficulty. The Ontario Government offers help with dental treatment costs for low income families, children with urgent dental needs.

This section offers information regarding the Healthy Smiles Ontario Emergency and Essentail Services  (HSO-EESS) program. Also included is information about the coverage available for adults (18 years of age and older) who are receiving  ODSP or OW assistance from the City of London or from the County of Middlesex.

Changes to dental programs in Ontario 

As of January 1, 2016, the folloing 6 publicly funded dental programs will be combined into the new Healthy Smiles Ontario program:

  • dental benefits for children under Ontario Works
  • dental benefits for children under the Ontario Disability Support Program
  • dental benefits for children under the Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities program
  • the Children In Need Of Treatment program
  • the Healthy Smiles Ontario program
  • preventive oral health services provided by local public health units
  • Children and youth currently receiving care from the programs listed above are still eligible for free dental services. They will be automatically transitioned into the new Healthy Smiles Ontario program.

Details and a new dental card will be mailed to transitioned clients before January 1, 2016. Additional information, including how to apply or re-apply to the new Healthy Smiles Ontario Program will be available at ontario.ca/healthysmiles as of January 1, 2016.

Ontario Works - London - Discretionary

Ontario Works (OW) assistance may include a municipally-funded discretionary dental benefit plan for adult OW recipients (18 years of age and older). These benefits are not mandatory and therefore the scope of the plan, as defined by each community, varies considerably across the province. For OW-London, the plan is specifically intended to provide limited dental care for relief of pain and infection.


For OW-London-clients- Adults that are 18 years of age and older who are receiving Ontario Works benefits can receive emergency dental care through the program.

For non-OW-London-clients who have had a Financial Needs Assessment (FNA) completed by the local OW Discretionary Benefits office. Adults that are 18 years of age and older can receive emergency dental care through the program. The children (17 years of age and younger) qualify for basic dental care benefits.

Date of creation: February 12, 2013
Last modified on: September 19, 2016