5 things to know about the Canada Dental Care Plan

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The Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) is the newest federal program designed to help Canadians afford dental care. The program will be implemented in phases, starting with seniors this year. Applications will open in December 2023.

  1. What is the Canada Dental Care Plan?

    The CDCP is an insurance program that will cover basic dental costs for uninsured Canadians with an adjusted family net income of $90,000 or less. To emphasize, the program is especially for those who do not have access to employer-sponsored dental benefits. The CDCP rollout will be by age group, based on the schedule below:

    Canadian Dental Care Plan Phased Rollout table

    Table from The Canadian Dental Care Plan (https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/news/2023/12/the-canadian-dental-care-plan.html) by Health Canada.

  2. Is it different from the Canada Dental Benefit?

    The Canada Dental Benefit was offered late last year to help parents who have children below 12 years old afford dental care for their kids. This is a temporary benefit. It was offered while the government worked towards the development of a long term national dental care program.

    Parents who are eligible to apply can get benefits for dental expenses for their children received between October 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023; and July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024. The program can provide benefits of up to $650 per child, per year. The actual benefit depends on the family’s net income. Check this page to know if you’re eligible for the Canada Dental Benefit and learn how to apply.

  3. Who is eligible to apply to the Canada Dental Care Plan?

    Applicants should fall within the age range for their specific application period. To qualify for CDCP, you must:

    • Have an adjusted family net income of $90,000 or less
    • Not have access to dental insurance
    • Be a Canadian resident for tax purposes
    • Have filed your tax return in the previous year
  4. What are the benefits?

    The CDCP will help cover the cost of various oral health-care services, with the focus on those deemed medically necessary by an oral health-care professional. This may include:

    • Preventive services, including scaling (cleaning), polishing, sealants and fluoride
    • Diagnostic services, including examinations and X-rays
    • Restorative services, including fillings, crowns and dentures
    • Endodontic services, including root canal treatments
    • Prosthodontic services, including complete and partial removable dentures
    • Periodontal services, including deep scaling
    • Oral surgery services, including extractions
  5. How do I apply?

  6. All eligible applicants will receive a letter inviting them to apply. Application instructions will be detailed in the letter.

    Initially, applications are carried out over the phone. Service Canada will determine and confirm whether your application is successful. A welcome package from Sun Life will be sent to you to explain when you can start to get care paid for and how.

    Those who are eligible to apply starting May 2024 will be able to do so online.

Sources: Canada’s new dental care plan could impact nearly 9 million Canadians — are you one of them? Mouhamad Rachini, CBC; Canada Dental Benefit, Government of Canada; Canada Dental Benefit, Manitoba Dental Association; and Canada Dental Care Plan, Government of Canada. Accessed December 18, 2023.

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Community Resources

For more information, read the Canada Dental Benefit factsheets available in various languages: Canada Dental Benefit: Multilingual Resources.

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