Oral health is health
Oral health is about a lot more than just brushing and flossing daily. It’s integral to an individual’s overall health and supports them in participating in society and achieving their full potential.1
And yet, many Canadians don’t have access to dental coverage and are going without treatment, which can lead to a range of health impacts, from physical pain to illness. GreenShield Cares is changing that by partnering with organizations across Canada to make free quality dental care available to those in need.
Approximately one in three Canadians don’t have dental coverage. Seniors are some of the most vulnerable, with more than 60 per cent of people over 70 forgoing the treatment they need. Research also shows that low-income Canadians are four times more likely to avoid seeing a dentist because of costs and twice as likely to have poor health outcomes.
Since 2016, GreenShield Cares has committed $20 million in oral health care to help change these statistics.
We’ve partnered with academic institutions and front-line community health providers in cities and rural areas across seven provinces to help fill the gaps in Canadian dental care services. By working with local organizations that understand the nuances and unique needs of their communities, we can help ensure that the right care gets to those who need it.
Watch: A healthy smile shouldn’t be a luxury
Going without dental treatment can have impacts far beyond pain, discomfort and embarrassment. Poor oral health can create barriers to employment and education and can trigger or increase mental health symptoms. Here’s the story of two Canadians whose lives have been positively changed through our oral health initiatives.
See where we’re helping underserved communities across Canada
Since 2018, we have impacted the lives of more than 35,000 Canadians through improved access to oral health care. And we’re not stopping there. Here’s a closer look at some of the work we’ve been doing.
Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Toronto
GreenShield Cares’ signature oral health program kicked off in 2020 with an investment over five years. The contribution funds a free oral health clinic and Canada’s largest research program investigating the impacts of access to dental care.
Niagara Falls Community Health Centre
NFCHC serves low-income communities in the Niagara region who are currently unable to access dental care through private health insurance or any form of social assistance. We commissioned former dental assistant-turned-artist Julie Restrepo to paint a mural outside to commemorate our partnership.
Alberta Health Services
For our first program launch in the west, we've partnered with AHS and Red Deer Street Connect on a $1.5 million initiative to create the new AHS Public Health Dental Clinic in Red Deer to reduce barriers facing Albertans who have difficulty accessing health and medical support.
1 World Health Organization Global Oral Health Status Report