P.E.I. senior struggles to find a dentist


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CHARLOTTETOWN, Prince Edward Island — After calling several dentists and asking on Facebook, Dale Paynter finally found a hygienist on the federal dental program because his original dentist refused to participate. plan.

Paynter, 73, who lives in Burlington, P.E.I., said he has an upcoming appointment with his longtime dentist for a teeth cleaning. When he called the office to reschedule his appointment to get a Canada Dental Care Plan card (which would provide him with dental insurance), the receptionist's response was disappointing.

“She told me, 'Oh, well, we're not going to be a part of that,'” he said.

Painter contacted two other dentists but received the same response. He later asked for dental advice on Facebook. A hygienist in Alberton who had signed up for the scheme saw his post and contacted him. She could only provide him with teeth cleaning services.

In Prince Edward Island, no dentists have yet signed up for the Canada Dental Care Plan. Only two dental professionals signed up, both dental hygienists.

Paperwork Burden

Matthew Shaffner, president of the Prince Edward Island Dental Association, told SaltWire in an interview that the federal plan was not developed in partnership with any of the dental associations in Canada’s provinces and territories, and as such, there are various significant issues with the implementation of the plan that are of concern to dentists across the country. .

“There is some administrative burden associated with the program, which will result in a significant increase in workload for our administrative staff,” he said.

“If the (federal government) continues to implement the recommendations made by the provincial and territorial dental associations, I think we will see a significant increase in dentists' acceptance of the program.”

Schaffner said they have made some suggestions to the federal government to improve the program. Some of the recommendations include reducing the administrative burden of the scheme, simplifying the terms and conditions of participation in the scheme, and making it easier for dentists to obtain approval for care.

Dental Association of Prince Edward Island - Feed
Dental Association of Prince Edward Island – Feed

The association also asked the government to be transparent about the fact that the scheme is subsidized dentistry rather than free dentistry.

“I think every dentist wants to provide care to this group of people who are going to be covered by insurance,” Schaffner said. “No one, no dentist, wants to deny care to anyone. However, the plan that was originally put in place made it difficult for dentists to Not consistently accepted into their practices so as the program improves I'm sure there will be dentists willing to sign up.



future expenses

Schaffner said the dental association hopes the federal government will implement the National Dental Association's recommendations, which he believes will increase dentists' participation in the program.

“We want everyone to have equal access to care, and we want the federal government to allow us to do that.”

Paynter successfully booked a dental cleaning appointment. However, he worries about the potential costs he may face in the future when he needs dental work.

Paynter had no dental insurance and was not eligible for the provincial dental plan.

“When I heard about this federal program, I thought, ‘It’s great to be this old. I’m going to get free dental work, which is great. But now, I guess, it’s not so great.


Vivian Ulinwa is a reporter for SaltWire in Prince Edward Island. You can contact her via email: [email protected] and follow X @vivian_ulinwa.





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