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Where can I get dental care if I don't have insurance?

Some community dental programs have dental services that are free or less expensive than regular dentists.

Community Health Organizations

Some community health organizations have specialized dental services. Contact a Community Information Centre to find out if there are any in your area.

Colleges and Universities

Some colleges and universities that teach dentistry have dental clinic programs. In these programs, dental students provide the service. They are supervised by their instructors, who are licensed dentists and dental professionals. You may need to meet eligibility requirements or apply to get services from these clinics. Often, you must pay a fee. Usually, the fees are less expensive than for a licensed dentist.

Check with local post-secondary institutions or your municipality for dental clinic programs.

Public Health Programs

Your community or public health department will have information about emergency dental services. If you are in great pain or have broken a tooth, you can get access to a dentist, in the evening, on weekends and holidays. There is a cost for this service.

In most cities in Ontario, the local community or public health department offers some free dental services. However, these services are only available to specific people (such as eligible seniors and children) and you should contact your local community health department to find out what services are available in your community.

For example, Children in Need of Treatment (CINOT) is a dental program for children who are in need of emergency or essential dental treatment and do not have dental insurance or another form of coverage (e.g., social assistance). There are eligibility criteria for the CINOT program. In addition, the Ontario Healthy Smiles Program covers regular dental services for eligible children. Contact your local public health unit for more information about these programs.

For More Information

  • Ontario Dental Association - Has information about what you can expect from a dentist and general tips about caring for your teeth and gums.
  • Canadian Dental Association - Has information about what you can expect from a dentist and general tips about caring for your teeth and gums.
Last Updated: September 4, 2013
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