Help Us Fill the Gap in Dental Care

Written by admin, April 17, 2013

April 17, 2013 – $20,000 Needed to Help Local Adults Living on Low-Incomes Access Urgent Dental Care

In recognition of Oral Health Month, a new fundraising campaign launched today by the Basic Needs Committee hopes to raise $20,000 to help hundreds of local adults living on low-incomes and who don’t qualify for government assistance access emergency dental services.

“The Dental Treatment Assistance Fund (DTAF) exists to help those who have no other way to get the urgent dental care they need,” said Brenda Dales, Chair, Basic Needs Committee, a sub-group of the Peterborough Poverty Reduction Network.  “Even though public health clinics are heavily booked providing much-needed dental care to children and families who qualify for government assistance programs, many still do not qualify because the income eligibility criteria were set too low. Reports of people whose teeth are falling out, or who are pulling their own teeth to obtain relief, are not uncommon.”

“Public health receives at least 15 calls per week from individuals living on low incomes who are suffering from acute dental pain caused by infection or trauma and we often advise that there is nothing we can do to help because they do not qualify for government assistance programs,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health with Peterborough Public Health. “For many, DTAF is their only option.”  Dr. Salvaterra noted that 1 in 5 Ontarians  do not visit a dentist because they cannot afford it.

DTAF is funded strictly by donations and provides up to $200 per calendar year to adults in Peterborough City and County who are unable to afford the urgent dental care they require, have no form of dental coverage and are ineligible for government assistance. In 2012, a total of 115 people between the ages of 18 and 82 received support from DTAF. So far in 2013, 24 adults have been able to access urgent dental care because of DTAF. The average cost of emergency treatment from the fund was $122 per person.

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For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Supervisor
(705) 743-1000, ext. 391