Cost and a lack of health insurance are the two biggest
barriers facing many adults in Niagara seeking dental health care, a
survey conducted by Niagara Dental Health Coalition recently found.
“Local health and social service agencies have told us anecdotally that they frequently encounter people across Niagara who face challenges accessing dental care. The survey findings quantify what we have been hearing and allow us to tell a more complete picture of the ways lack of dental care access is impacting the lives of numerous Niagara residents. The survey received 1,334 responses from Niagara residents aged 18 and over from across all 12 lower-tier municipalities.”Lori Kleinsmith, chair of the dental health coalition
The survey showed 57 per cent respondents indicated that they had no access to workplace or publicly-funded dental care benefits and could not afford to buy private insurance. Sixty-three per cent reported their household family income at less than $30,000 annually.
When faced with a dental emergency, more than one in four
respondents turned to their family doctor, a walk-in clinic or the
hospital emergency room, only to receive painkillers or antibiotics and
no treatment of the underlying dental problem.