Dental Care for Seniors Without Insurance in Canada (2024)

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Sunny Yadav updated on 7 November 2023

Dental care is a vital aspect of overall health, but it's no secret that it can be prohibitively expensive, especially for seniors. As we age, the need for dental treatment increases due to the natural wear and tear on our teeth.

Additionally, seniors may have to contend with the restrictions imposed by pre-existing conditions, making access to dental care even more crucial. That's where private dental insurance steps in.

In this guide, we delve into all aspects of dental care for seniors without insurance, provincial healthcare coverage, and how private dental insurance can help you bridge the gaps. If you decide to go ahead with private dental insurance, you can get free quotes right here using our comparator and get a plan that truly suits you best.

Dental Care for Seniors Without Insurance: 5 Key Takeaways 

  1. Dental care is essential but costly, especially for seniors due to increased dental needs with age.
  2. Pre-existing conditions can limit access to dental care, making private dental insurance valuable.
  3. Explore options like government programs, low-cost clinics, sliding scale fees, and patient assistance programs.
  4. Dental insurance isn't mandatory, but it can significantly reduce dental care costs for seniors.
  5. When considering insurance, compare coverage, premiums, deductibles, copays, and renewal options.

Dental care for seniors without insurance: Is insurance mandatory?

No, dental insurance is not mandatory for seniors, but it can be a valuable way to protect your oral health and finances.

Federal coverage plans like Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) do not cover routine dental care, such as cleanings, fillings, and extractions. However, there are some Medicare Advantage plans that do offer dental coverage. Additionally, there are several private dental insurance plans available to seniors.

Whether or not seniors need dental insurance is a personal decision. Some seniors may be able to afford to pay for dental care out of pocket, while others may find that dental insurance is a more affordable option.

Expert advice

If you are considering dental insurance, it is important to compare different plans to find one that meets your needs and budget. You should also be sure to read the plan carefully to understand the coverage and limitations.

Dental insurance is offered as part of health insurance, as an add-on, or a stand-alone plan. You can explore plans and coverages right here using our comparator below. All you need to do is enter a few basic inputs on what you're looking for and voila, you get free personalized dental insurance quotes in no time.

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What is federal coverage for dental care for seniors without insurance?

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) is a federal health insurance program for people age 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). It is not a one-size-fits-all program, and there are different options available depending on your needs and budget. And as we mentioned, dental care for seniors without insurance is available.

Part A covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and some home health care. You do not have to pay a premium for Part A if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes for at least 40 quarters. If you did not pay Medicare taxes for at least 40 quarters, you may have to pay a monthly premium.

Part B covers doctor visits, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services. You have to pay a monthly premium for Part B. The premium is usually deducted from your Social Security check.

In addition to Part A and Part B, there are also several optional Medicare plans available, such as:

  • Medicare Advantage plans: These plans are offered by private insurance companies and provide all of the coverage of Original Medicare, plus additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage.
  • Medicare Part D prescription drug plans: These plans help to pay for the cost of prescription drugs.
  • Medigap plans: These plans are private insurance plans that can help to pay for some of the out-of-pocket costs of Original Medicare, such as copays and deductibles.

Good to know

Original Medicare does not cover all of the costs of healthcare, so you may have to pay some out-of-pocket costs, such as copays, deductibles, and coinsurance.

How is the coverage for dental care for seniors without insurance?

There are a few options available for dental care for seniors without insurance in Canada. These include:

Government programs
Some provinces and territories have government programs that provide free or low-cost dental care to seniors. For example, the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program (OSDCP) provides free dental services to seniors aged 65 and over who meet the required income conditions and do not have dental benefits either through private insurance or other government programs.
Low-cost dental clinics
There are several low-cost dental clinics in Canada that offer dental care at a reduced rate. These clinics may be operated by non-profit organizations, dental schools, or community health centers.
Sliding scale fees
Some dentists offer sliding scale fees, which means that they charge patients based on their ability to pay. This can be a good option for seniors who have limited income.
Patient assistance programs
Some dental manufacturers and distributors offer patient assistance programs that can help seniors afford dental care. These programs may provide free or discounted dental products or services.
Options for dental care for seniors without insurance

Just like OSDCP, the Manitoba Seniors Dental Care Program (MSDP) also provides free dental services to seniors aged 65 and over who meet the required income conditions. However, the MSDP does not cover as many dental services as the OSDCP. That's where private dental insurance plans become critical.

If you would like to compare plans from Canada's best health and dental insurance plans, you can do it right here using our comparator below. You can compare multiple plans and get free personalized quotes in no time.

Compare The Best Health Insurance Plans in Seconds


How is dental care for seniors without insurance vs. those with insurance?

Dental insurance can be a valuable asset for seniors, as it can help to reduce the cost of dental care. But before deciding whether or not it's right for you, you should weigh the pros and cons of dental insurance.

Benefits of having private dental insurance for seniors

  • Reduced cost: Dental insurance can help to reduce the cost of dental care by paying for a portion of the bill. This can save you a significant amount of money, especially for expensive procedures such as root canals and crowns.
  • Preventive care: Many dental insurance plans cover preventive care, such as cleanings and checkups. This is important for seniors, as they are at an increased risk for gum disease and other oral health problems.
  • Orthodontic Coverage: While less common, some dental insurance plans in Canada may include coverage for orthodontic treatments like braces or aligners. This can be beneficial for seniors who require orthodontic work.
  • Emergency Dental Care: Dental insurance often covers emergency dental services, ensuring that seniors can receive prompt care for issues like toothaches, broken teeth, or infections.
  • Choice of Dentists: Many dental insurance plans allow seniors to choose their preferred dentists or visit any dentist in a network, providing flexibility and convenience in selecting a healthcare provider.

Also, dental insurance can give you peace of mind knowing you are covered for unexpected dental expenses. This can be especially important if you have a limited income.

Drawbacks of private dental insurance for seniors

  • Premiums: Dental insurance premiums can be expensive, especially for seniors.
  • Deductibles: Most dental insurance plans have deductibles, which means that you have to pay a certain amount of money out of pocket before the insurance starts to pay.
  • Copays: Dental insurance plans also typically have copays, which are a set amount that you have to pay for each dental service.

What does dental care for seniors without insurance cost?

The cost of dental care for seniors in Canada can vary depending on the type of care needed, the location of the dentist, and whether or not the senior has dental insurance.

Cost of dental care for seniors without insurance

The average cost of a dental checkup and cleaning for a senior without insurance is about $150. Other common dental procedures, such as fillings and extractions, can cost several hundred dollars each. More complex procedures, such as root canals and crowns, can cost thousands of dollars.

Cost of dental care for seniors with insurance

The cost of dental care with insurance can vary depending on the plan. Some plans cover a wider range of services than others. In general, however, insurance can help to reduce the cost of dental care by a significant amount.

Dental insurance is usually offered as an add-on or a stand-alone plan. If you'd like to check out how they work and what they cover, you can do it right here. Use our comparator below and get multiple health and dental insurance quotes in seconds, and for free.

Compare The Best Health Insurance Plans in Seconds


What does private insurance for dental care for seniors cost?

Private dental insurance for seniors in Canada can vary in cost depending on factors such as your age, location, and the level of coverage you choose. Dental insurance plans typically cover a range of services, including preventive care, basic procedures, and major dental work.

Here's a brief introduction and a table indicating approximate monthly premiums and what is typically covered for seniors in three provinces: British Columbia (BC), Ontario (ON), and Alberta (AB).

Coverage TypeMonthly PremiumsCoverage Details
Basic Dental Coverage
BC: $30 - $50
ON: $25 - $45
AB: $30 - $50
Regular check-ups and cleanings
Fillings and extractions
Major Dental Coverage
BC: $50 - $80
ON: $40 - $70
AB: $50 - $80
Crowns and bridges
Root canals
Orthodontic Coverage
BC: $60 - $100
ON: $50 - $90
AB: $60 - $100
Braces for seniors who need orthodontic treatment
Invisalign (may have additional costs)
Dental insurance for seniors

Please note that these are approximate costs and coverage details, and actual premiums and coverage may vary depending on the insurance provider, your specific needs, and any pre-existing conditions. It's essential to compare plans from different providers and carefully review the policy details to make an informed decision based on your requirements.

What are good coverage options for dental care for seniors without insurance?

Here are some affordable insurance providers for dental care for seniors without insurance in Canada:

  1. Sun Life Financial: Sun Life offers three individual health insurance plans with varying dental coverage. The Basic plan covers preventive treatment, the Standard plan offers more reimbursement for preventive care, and the Enhanced plan covers preventive, restorative, and orthodontic treatments.
  2. Manulife health insurance: Manulife provides both stand-alone dental plans and dental benefits in combination plans, each with varying benefits. Common features in all plans include exams, diagnostics, preventative care, and select extractions, while Enhanced plans additionally cover spacer maintenance, denture repair, anesthesia, crowns, bridges, and orthodontics.
  3. Green Shield Canada: Green Shield Canada offers dental coverage through various plans, such as Prism Continuum®, PrismSpectra®, and Prism Precision®. These plans provide coverage for a range of dental services, including preventative care, periodontal treatment, endodontics, dentures, crowns, and bridges, with varying levels of coverage and benefit year conditions.
  4. Desjardins Insurance: Desjardins allows you to add dental insurance to their health insurance plan. This will cover accidental dental damage and part of routine check-ups. The more comprehensive plan will also cover major dental reconstructions and surgeries.
  5. Great-West Life: Great-West Life offers a dental insurance plan for seniors that covers preventive care, basic services, and major procedures.

What should seniors consider when choosing a dental plan?

Here are some things to consider when choosing a dental insurance plan for seniors:

  • Coverage: Make sure the plan covers the dental services you need.
  • Premiums: Consider the cost of the premiums and how much you can afford to pay.
  • Deductibles: Find out how high the deductible is and how much you will have to pay out of pocket before the insurance starts to pay.
  • Copays: Find out how much the copays are for each dental service.
  • Waiting periods: Some plans have waiting periods before you can start using the benefits.
  • Renewal: Find out how often the plan renews and what happens if you want to renew.
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Sunny Yadav Copywriter

Sunny has over six years of experience curating engaging content spanning across industries. Specifically in finance, his expertise is insurance reviews and lending and investment topics.

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