Government of Canada announces the services covered under the Canadian Dental Care Plan

News release

February 8, 2024 | Ottawa, Ontario | Government of Canada

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. However, we know that in 2022 one in four Canadians reported avoiding visiting an oral health professional because of the cost and that a third of the people living in Canada do not have dental insurance. Access to oral health care should not be dependent on Canadians' ability to pay.

Last December, the Government of Canada launched the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP), a new federal plan, administered with the support of Sun Life, which will help make oral health care more affordable for up to nine million Canadian residents who do not currently have access to dental insurance.

Today, the Government of Canada announced further details on the oral health care services that will be covered under the CDCP to prevent and treat oral health issues and disease. The majority of services covered under the CDCP will be available as of May 2024 when the first cohort of CDCP clients will begin to receive services. Some oral health care services such as crowns, initial placement of partial dentures, and general anesthesia will require preauthorization, prior evaluation from an oral health provider, which will be available beginning in the fall of 2024.

The Government is also making the 2023 CDCP established fees available via Sun Life's website to help inform providers ahead of the release of the 2024 fees. Each service covered under the plan will be compensated at 2024 CDCP fees when services start being offered in May. The CDCP will reimburse a percentage of the cost, based on established CDCP fees, which are not the same as the provincial and territorial suggested fee guides. People covered under the CDCP may have to pay an outstanding amount such as a co-payment or additional charges, which would be paid directly to their oral health provider. CDCP fees will be reassessed annually to account for new evidence, inflation, and changes in costs over time.

To limit out-of-pocket costs, oral health providers participating in the CDCP will bill Sun Life directly for the eligible services provided to ensure timely reimbursement. Before receiving any oral health services, people covered under the CDCP should confirm that their provider is participating in the program and whether there may be any costs that will not be covered by the plan.

The support and participation of oral health care providers across the country are essential to the successful roll-out of the CDCP and to improving access to dental care in Canada. The Government will continue to actively engage with oral health providers so they are well informed, and supported with informational resources. Oral health providers will be able to confirm their participation in the CDCP through the Sun Life portal starting on March 11, 2024.

The CDCP is a key part of the Government of Canada's plan to making life more affordable for Canadians.

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"No one should have to choose between taking care of their teeth and paying their bills. Canadians deserve access to affordable dental care, which is essential not only for oral health, but for overall health. By helping cover some of the costs of a wide range of services the Canadian Dental Care Plan will help more Canadians get access to the oral health care they need. I want to thank oral health care associations for their continued engagement and their dedication to improving the health of Canadians, which has culminated in this announcement today. We are determined to ensure that oral health providers have the information they need to participate so they can welcome CDCP clients into their practices."

The Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health

"Oral health is an essential part of our overall health, and access to quality dental care should not be based on one's ability to pay. The Canadian Dental Care Plan will be larger than any other permanent government benefit program to date as it aims to improve access to dental care for up to 9 million uninsured Canadians. Today's announcement demonstrates the expansive suite of services that will be covered under the program beginning in May."

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

"The Canadian Dental Care Plan is a major step forward in making dental care accessible and affordable for millions of Canadians without dental insurance. This is about fairness and health equity, and by covering essential services, we're ensuring that cost is no longer a barrier to oral health."

The Honourable Terry Beech
Minister of Citizens' Services

"We know first-hand how important oral health is to an individual's overall health and well-being. Regular access to an oral health care provider is critical and can help prevent long-term health implications. We look forward to administering the CDCP, working with providers and Canadians.

Dave Jones
President, Sun Life Health

Quick facts

  • Since the CDCP launched in mid-December, more than 600,000 Canadians have successfully applied to participate in the plan through Service Canada.

  • Application letters are currently being sent to potentially eligible Canadians aged 72 or older.

  • Service Canada is aware of a variety of scams targeting Canadians related to the plan. If you are concerned about the legitimacy of a letter you received regarding the CDCP, you can contact 1-833-537-4342 (TTY: 1-833-677-6262). All envelopes containing official documents from Service Canada will feature the official Canada wordmark.

  • Application codes in invitation to apply letters are valid only until April 30, 2024. After that date, all potential plan members will be directed to apply online or in person at a Service Canada outlet.

  • For those who apply before May 1, 2024, eligibility will be determined based on the 2022 tax year. For those applying as of May 1, 2024, eligibility will be determined based on the 2023 tax year. People applying to the CDCP after May 1 must have completed their tax filing for 2023.

  • Provider participation in the CDCP will be on a voluntary basis. Oral health providers eligible to participate and bill for services include:

    • dentists
    • denturists
    • dental hygienists
    • dental specialists
  • 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.

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

Media Relations
Health Canada

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