In addition to programs in which dentists volunteer their time and services to Canadians who cannot afford them, dentists forego a considerable amount of revenue in order to bridge the gap between the services they provide and what their patients can pay.
A survey of Canadian dentists in 2005 found that the overwhelming majority of dentists provide dental care services at a reduced rate from their customary fees. Specifically, it was projected that dentists provided over $80 million of dental care services free of charge and donated over $8 million in dental supplies. In today's values, this would work out to approximately $125 million dollars of volunteer dental services, which translates to over 300,000 Canadians gaining access to pro bono dental services.
The same survey found that nearly half of the dentists in Canada were involved in community-based volunteer activities and donated a projected total of almost one million volunteer hours. In addition to some of the programs highlighted earlier in this report, dentists and dental students volunteer their time and expertise, serving as a final safety net to ensure that vulnerable Canadians are receiving needed care.