Financial Assistance For Specialized Dental Needs

When I was a kid my teeth were a hot mess—think skinny jack-o-lantern with a spiral perm. So, thanks mum and dad for shelling out the big bucks to fix my janky buckteeth. 

I knew early on that both of my children would also require orthodontics. My son’s teeth were an easy fix. One year of braces and his smile is now movie star quality. 

My daughter on the other hand… 

Her teeth were crowded and twisted and coming in at all kinds of wonky angles. Not only did she inherit my dental disaster genes, her own genetics added an additional yikes factor. She has a small jaw and a very high, misshapen palate. 

One of her front adult middle teeth was angled out in such a way that one fall could easily knock it out. Our dentist recommended extractions and then follow up with an orthodontist for the first round of braces. 

Both of my kids would be receiving orthodontic care at the same time—convenient in terms of double teaming appointments, but… cha-ching. 

Our first task was finding the right orthodontist. We needed somebody who would be exceptional with a child with exceptional needs. 

The story about the dentist who terrified my daughter and the one who turned it around

We found him. Dr. Britton is a patient a father of four. He’s kind and gentle and Avery fell for him immediately. 

At our consultation appointment he told us about THE ONTARIO CLEFT LIP AND PALATE/  CRANIOFACIAL DENTAL PROGRAM

This provincial program provides financial assistance for the specialized dental needs of children with cleft lip/palate, craniofacial anomaly or other severe dental dysfunction (we fell into the last category).

To determine if your child is eligible for this program (children must be registered before their 18th birthday), ask your orthodontist for a referral to one of the designated centres for a screening assessment. Eligibility is determined by the Dental Director and assessment team at each designated centre.

If accepted, this program will reimburse 75% of dental treatment costs remaining AFTER private dental insurance. If there is no private insurance in place, the program will reimburse 75% of the approved estimate.

These costs may include:

-Dental infant orthopaedics
-Orthodontic treatment
-Some restorative dentistry
-Dental prosthetics
-Dental implants and oral surgery not funded by OHIP

Other than the one visit for assessment at Sick Kids, we were able to have Avery’s full orthodontic treatment done at Dr. Britton’s office near our home. 

The paperwork was a bit of a learning curve for me. Reimbursement required detailed forms and receipts to be submitted to insurance and then sent to the Hospital for Sick Children. I found it confusing, but the reception staff at our orthodontist office were able to talk me though it. Eventually. 🙂 

Avery’s braces came off a few months ago and though she still has a significant overbite (this will require further treatment) her teeth are now pleasingly aligned. She isn’t able to wear a traditional retainer due to sensory and safety issues. So instead her teeth are being prevented from reverting back to their crooked state by way of a wire cemented to her top back teeth. 

If your child has a chromosome disorder or some kind of genetic disability that you suspect may contribute to their dental needs, this program is worth exploring. Ask your dental care specialist about it. If they haven’t heard of it, share the program link with them and ask for them to request a referral on your child’s behalf. 

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