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Seniors in Pain Waiting for Federal Dental Care

Updated: May 2, 2023

For Immediate Release

13 April, 2023

NL NDP Leader Jim Dinn is calling on the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador to bolster the provincial dental plan for seniors while they wait for the federal dental care program expansion coming later this year. Dinn says government should double investment in the Adult Dental Plan to cover low-income seniors and start tackling the backlog of cases.

“Seniors across the province call our office pleading with us to help them access treatment for painful, often debilitating, dental problems that are going unaddressed because they simply can’t afford to get them fixed,” said Dinn.

“This fall we will see an influx of patients when the federal dental care program expands, and the provincial government needs to have some forethought and a plan for what’s coming. Adding to the current adult dental plan investment now will help get ahead of this rush on the system and cover some very urgent low income seniors’ dental needs.”

Seniors’ dental care was covered until 2016 when it was cut by the Liberal government. Augmenting the allocation for the Adult Dental Program, which would cost approximately $2.5 million, which is almost the amount of money not spent in the province’s Dental Services budget in 2022-2023. Dinn says it is appalling that this budgeted money wasn’t spent when so much urgent need exists in the province.

“Investing in seniors’ dental care is one thing the government could do right now that would make a big difference in people’s lives,” said Dinn. “Most of the sadder stories we hear are the result of long-term neglect – people who cannot afford even preventative dental work and minor fillings end up in emergency rooms. Years of ignoring the most basic needs in so many areas has brought us to today’s healthcare crisis.

“It was disappointing to learn that with all of the calls our office is getting, and all of the denial of coverage we’ve dealt with in the last year, that this government actually spent less on dental services than they had budgeted,” said Dinn. “An NDP government would have ensured that if there was money in the budget -- people would have gotten access to dental care. We wouldn’t just be randomly throwing money at the healthcare crisis hoping problems will magically sort themselves out.”


Attached is the letter Dinn sent to Premier Furey earlier today asking for low income seniors to be included under the Adult Dental Plan.

For further information, contact Stephanie Curran, Media Relation Manager, NDP Caucus at 330.0328 (o), or

NR 04132023 Seniors in Pain Waiting for Federal Dental Care
Download PDF • 208KB

CORR 04132023 Letter to Premier Furey on Seniors Dental Care
Download PDF • 48KB


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