Making dental care more affordable in Canada

News release

The Government of Canada announces roll-out of the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP)

December 11, 2023 | Ottawa, Ontario | Government of Canada

Oral health is an important part of our overall health and well-being. Regular visits to an oral health professional have proven to reduce the risk of tooth decay, gum disease and other serious health problems, such as cardiovascular disease and stroke. Yet, we know that a third of the people living in Canada do not have dental insurance, and in 2022, one in four Canadians reported avoiding visiting an oral health professional because of the cost. Access to oral health care should not be dependent on Canadians' ability to pay.

Today, the Government of Canada announced the details of the upcoming roll-out of the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP), a significant milestone for the health and well-being of people in Canada. Once fully implemented, the CDCP will help ease financial barriers to accessing oral health care for up to nine million uninsured Canadian residents with an annual family income of less than $90,000.

To meet anticipated demand and ensure a smooth onboarding process, the CDCP will be rolled out using a phased approach over the coming months, starting with seniors. Applications will first open for seniors aged 87 and above in December 2023, expanding in phases to those aged 77 to 86 in January 2024, followed by those aged 72 to 76 in February 2024, then those aged 70 to 71 in March 2024. Individuals in these age groups who may be eligible will receive letters inviting them to apply, with instructions on how to validate their eligibility and apply by telephone.

In May 2024, applications will shift to an online portal and will open for eligible seniors 65 and older. Persons with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and children under the age of 18 will be able to apply online starting June 2024. All remaining eligible Canadian residents between the ages of 18 and 64 will be able to apply online starting in 2025.

Canadians who are enrolled in the CDCP will be able to start seeing an oral health provider as early as May 2024, starting with seniors. The start date to access oral health care will vary based on when each group can apply, when the application is received and when enrolment is completed. This coverage start date, details of coverage, and member card will be sent by Sun Life, the contracted service provider, in a welcome package.

A wide range of oral health care services will be covered under the CDCP to prevent and treat oral health disease. 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. As part of a continuous improvement approach, the CDCP will be reviewed regularly based on data and evidence to ensure it meets the needs of Canadians.

Oral health professionals play a vital role in delivering oral health care, and this plan will allow more Canadians to receive their care. Resources and tools on how to assist and inform their patients about the CDCP will be provided to the oral health professional community.

The CDCP is an important part of the Government of Canada's plan to make life more affordable for Canadians.

For more information on the CDCP, eligibility, the phased application roll-out and examples of what will be covered, visit


"The Canadian Dental Care Plan will be transformative for our country. It will significantly improve health outcomes, reduce a burden on our health care system, and build a foundation of equity by expanding access to oral health care for the millions of Canadians that currently do not have access to this critical care. The Government of Canada is making life more affordable by helping families and their loved ones."

The Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health

"The Canadian Dental Care Plan will help millions of Canadians seeking access to oral health care. This is the largest coverage rollout in the history of Canada, and we will start with those Canadians aged 87 or older. Eligible Canadians will receive a letter in the mail that will detail how to enrol in the dental plan over the next number of months. Please wait to receive your letter before taking any further action and check for more details."

The Honourable Terry Beech
Minister of Citizens' Services

"Canadians deserve quality oral health care, which we know is important not only for oral health, but for overall health. Our government's commitment to expanding access to oral health care is unwavering. Following the successful completion of an open, transparent, and competitive procurement process, Sun Life will administer this important initiative, which will improve the health and the lives of Canadians."

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

"Dental care shouldn't be a luxury. It's basic health care. Seniors are often on fixed incomes and have more health care bills, so they're a priority in our dental plan. We want every Canadian to age in health, in comfort, and in dignity."

The Honourable Seamus O'Regan Jr.
Minister of Labour and Seniors

Quick facts

  • The Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) will be administered by Health Canada in collaboration with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), through Service Canada, and Sun Life. 

  • Budget 2023 announced an investment of $13 billion over five years, starting in 2023-24, and $4.4 billion ongoing, to implement CDCP.

  • The estimated value of the contract with Sun Life is $746,698,598.22. The duration of the contract is five years and includes two 24-month option periods and one 12-month option period, for a total of five additional option years.

  • 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.

Associated links


Christopher Aoun
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health

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

Olivier Pilon
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Hartley Witten
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Labour and Seniors, Seamus O'Regan Jr.

Media Relations
Health Canada

Media Relations
Employment and Social Development Canada

Media Relations
Public Services and Procurement Canada

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