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A Comprehensive Look at Canada's New National Dental Care Plan

After years of careful analyses and discussions, Canada has finally implemented a national dental care program for eligible families and individuals. The Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) launched in December 2023, providing financial assistance for dental services to those without existing private insurance plans.

This long-awaited program aims to improve oral health outcomes and increase access to dental care for millions of Canadians who previously could not afford regular checkups and treatments. Let's take a closer look at how the CDCP works and who qualifies for coverage.

Overview of the CDCP

The CDCP is an income-tested program funded through the federal government. It covers dental services for families earning less than $90,000 per year, with no co-pays for those under the income of $70,000 annually. There is no cost to enroll, and coverage kicks in automatically based on income tax returns.

The dental services covered are wide-ranging and include:

  • Preventive services like exams, cleanings, x-rays, sealants, and fluoride treatments

  • Basic treatments such as fillings, root canals, periodontal services, and extractions

  • Major procedures like crowns, bridges, and dentures

  • Orthodontic treatment for youth under 18

Families between $70,000 and $90,000 pay a co-pay of up to $650 per year based on a sliding income scale. There are no deductibles, and coverage starts from the first dollar for eligible procedures. All licensed dental providers can opt into the CDCP program.

Who Qualifies for the CDCP?

The main qualification for the CDCP is income level, but there are additional criteria based on age:

  • Families with an income under $90,000 qualify for full coverage (100% paid) for children under 18

  • Adults between 18-64 in families earning under $90,000 receive coverage for basic dental treatments

  • Seniors 65 and over qualify for basic treatment coverage if their family income is under $50,000

  • There is no age requirement for those earning under $70,000 to receive full comprehensive coverage

Additionally, status First Nations and approved refugee claimants can access full CDCP benefits regardless of income level.

Enrollment Process

You do not need to enroll or register for the CDCP actively. The program uses income information from your annual tax return to determine eligibility automatically. Once you and your family members qualify based on your Notice of Assessment, you can start accessing services right away by visiting any dentist who opts into the CDCP network.

Dental providers will be able to check your qualification status electronically and submit claims directly to the federal program administrator for reimbursement of CDCP-covered procedures.

Anticipated Benefits of the New Canadian Dental Care Plan

  • Experts predict the CDCP will reduce costs elsewhere in the healthcare system by improving overall oral and physical health through preventive dental care. 

  • It will also increase workplace productivity by allowing more Canadians to access treatment for painful dental conditions.

  • Children from low-income families will particularly benefit by receiving crucial dental services during key developmental years, setting them up for better lifelong oral health. Numerous studies have linked childhood dental issues to future health problems, decreased school performance, and lowered overall quality of life.

  • The program is expected to cut dental care costs for millions and relieve a major financial burden for working families. Many experts see the CDCP as an overdue investment that will pay dividends through reduced emergency room visits, missed work days, and expensive remedial treatments caused by a lack of preventive care.

While the CDCP is not a universal dental plan covering all Canadians, it marks a massive step towards prioritizing oral healthcare as an essential service. By ensuring a dental safety net for those falling under the income threshold, the program upholds the tenet that no Canadian should have to neglect their oral health due to financial barriers.

The CDCP Rollout Process

The CDCP rollout process is still ongoing, but early reports indicate strong uptake and high demand across the country. As more dentists opt-in and awareness increases, the federal government anticipates the CDCP will dramatically improve dental care access and overall health outcomes for a large segment of the Canadian population. Public health officials will closely monitor program data to assess the real-world impacts and make any needed adjustments going forward.

Policymakers see the CDCP as just the first phase of an expanded national dental care program. There are calls from some corners to eventually extend coverage to higher income brackets as well. However, the current priority is successfully implementing this initial income-based program before considering broader reforms down the road. For now, the CDCP gives millions of Canadians something to smile about - affordable access to dental care.

The CDCP and Your Dental Practice at Forest Heights

As a trusted dental provider in the community, Forest Heights Dental Clinic is excited about the opportunities the Canadian Dental Care Plan represents for providing more care while growing our practice. By opting into the CDCP network, we gain access to millions of newly insured Canadians seeking dental services. Contact us at 780 468 2529 to know more details. 

What Does the CDCP Mean for Your Family at Forest Heights Dental Clinic?

If your household income meets the CDCP qualification guidelines, it provides an invaluable opportunity to make your family's oral health a true priority without financial barriers. At Forest Heights Dental Clinic, we couldn't be more supportive of this program and what it means for our community:

  • Eliminating Cost Concerns

Whether it's a biannual cleaning, cavity treatment, or a bigger procedure, the CDCP allows you to make decisions based solely on what's best for your family's dental needs rather than costs.

  • Comprehensive Treatment Planning

With so many services covered, we can devise thorough, customized treatment plans for optimal long-term oral health. You can rest assured we'll make clinical recommendations solely based on your needs, not financial barriers.


The National Dental Care Plan in Canada is an invaluable resource, and Forest Heights Dental Clinic is proud to participate as a provider. If you're ready to take advantage of this opportunity to invest in your family's oral health, we welcome you to call and schedule an appointment today. Let's discuss how the CDCP dental can work for your household's needs!

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