More than 400,000  Canadian seniors have been approved for dental care under the Canadian Dental Care Plan

News release

January 31, 2024 | Ottawa, Ontario | Government of Canada

The CDCP is expanding applications: on February 1st, potentially eligible seniors aged 72 and up will start receiving invitation to apply letters  

Last month, the Government of Canada launched the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP). The CDCP is a new federal dental plan that will help ease financial barriers to accessing oral health care for up to 9 million people who do not currently have private dental insurance.

Since mid-December, Service Canada has approved over 400,000 applications. Each month, Service Canada will contact a new group of seniors, based on age. While applications remain open for those 77 years or older, in February, we are expanding to seniors, aged 72 to 76. That means potentially eligible seniors aged 72 to 76 will start receiving letters inviting them to apply to the CDCP, with instructions on how to validate their eligibility and apply to the plan by phone.

To ensure a smooth experience, the CDCP is being rolled out using a phased approach:

  • Since December 2023, Service Canada sent letters to potentially eligible seniors aged 77 and up, inviting them to apply.
  • Starting February 1st, Service Canada will send letters to seniors aged 72 to 76, inviting them to apply.  
  • Starting March 1st, Service Canada will send letters to seniors aged 70 to 71, inviting them to apply.
  • In May 2024, applications will shift to an online application process and will be open for eligible seniors aged 65 and older.
  • In June 2024, persons with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and children under the age of 18 will be able to apply online.
  • All remaining eligible Canadian residents between the ages of 18 and 64 will be able to apply online starting in 2025.

After someone is approved by Service Canada to be enrolled in the CDCP, their information will be referred to Sun Life. Sun Life will enroll eligible applicants in the CDCP and will send them a welcome package, including information on the CDCP, coverage details, their member card, and the start date of their coverage.

People who qualify for the CDCP can start seeing a dentist or other oral health provider as early as May 2024. An individual’s coverage start date, the date at which they can begin to access services, will vary based on when the application is received and when enrolment is completed. Expenses will not be covered prior to the coverage start date.

Oral health care is health care. No one should have to choose between taking care of their teeth and paying their bills. The CDCP is going to help make dental care more affordable for every Canadian. 

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"The Canadian Dental Care Plan is already seeing significant uptake, with more than 400,000 seniors successfully applying for the plan in just the first month, all without any wait time on the phone. Our focus remains on ensuring seniors, and soon, other age groups, have access to necessary oral health services. Eligibility will continue to expand to more age groups in the coming weeks and Service Canada is well-equipped to provide seamless, quality client service.”

- The Honourable Terry Beech, Minister of Citizens’ Services

“Seniors deserve access to dental care. To date, more than 400,000 seniors have successfully applied for the CDCP. They will be able to start seeing an oral health provider as early as May 2024 and more seniors are applying each day. This means that more Canadians residents will be able to access dental care that we know keeps people healthy and gives them the dignity to live a healthy life.

- The Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health

“Every Canadian should have dental care, especially seniors. The Canadian Dental Care Plan has already got hundreds of thousands of uninsured seniors approved for dental care, and more are joining every day. Because health care isn’t just about years, it’s about quality of life.”

- The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister for Seniors

“Oral health care is a crucial part of Canadians’ health and well-being. By expanding applications to the Canadian Dental Care Plan, we help ensure seniors have access to the essential dental care services they deserve. This significant progress is the result of our commitment to making life more affordable and help build a healthy future for our country."

- The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Services and Procurement

“Once fully deployed, the Canadian Dental Care Plan will extend to eligible Canadians of all ages whose adjusted family net income is less than $90,000. To qualify, make sure to file your tax return.”

- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of National Revenue

Quick facts

  • Budget 2023 announced an investment of $13 billion over five years, starting in 2023-24, and $4.4 billion ongoing, to implement the CDCP, making it the biggest government program in generations.

  • The CDCP is administered by Health Canada in collaboration with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), through Service Canada, and Sun Life.

  • To qualify for the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) you must have an adjusted family net income of less than $90,000, not have access to employer/pension-sponsored or private dental insurance and have filed your tax return in the previous year. 

  • To improve oral health outcomes, the CDCP will help cover a wide range of oral health care services, on the recommendation of an oral health care provider. Examples of these services include preventive care such as scaling (cleaning), polishing, as well as other services such as exams, x-rays, fillings, removable dentures, and root canal treatments.

  • The Canada Dental Benefit will continue to support families with children under the age of 12 until June 30, 2024. Parents and caregivers will be able to apply for the CDCP for children under the age of 18 as of June 2024. 


Erik Nosaluk
Director of Communications and Issues Management
Office of the Honourable Terry Beech
Minister of Citizens' Services

Media Relations
Employment and Social Development Canada

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