Canada’s New Dental Care Plan (CDCP): A Game-Changer for Public Health

The launch of Canada’s innovative Dental Care Plan is a landmark event in the nation’s healthcare landscape, offering unprecedented access to dental services for millions. This initiative aims to bridge the gap in the healthcare system, underscoring the importance of oral health as a component of overall well-being.

Key Benefits of the Dental Care Plan

The Dental Care Plan is meticulously designed to cater to Canadians lacking private dental insurance, focusing on low to middle-income families, seniors, and children. It exemplifies Canada’s dedication to universal healthcare, expanding its scope to include vital dental services.

Comprehensive Coverage for a Healthier Canada

Covering essential dental services, the plan ensures that financial barriers do not hinder individuals from seeking necessary care. From preventive maintenance to critical procedures, the initiative promises a significant reduction in dental health issues and, by extension, improved public health outcomes.

Impact on Canadian Families

By making dental services more accessible and affordable, the Dental Care Plan is poised to transform the oral health landscape in Canada. It not only encourages regular dental visits but also plays a crucial role in preventing the escalation of minor issues into serious health complications.

Who is Covered?

Canadians with a household income of less than $90,000 annually are eligible for coverage under the Canadian Dental Care Plan. Furthermore, those with a household income of less than $70,000 per year are eligible for 100% coverage of the CDCP fee grid, $70,000 – $80,000 are eligible for 60% coverage and $80,000 – $90,000 are eligible for 40% coverage. Note that coverage is based on the CDCP fee grid.

What is the CDCP fee grid? 

The CDCP fee grid is the fee schedule on which the Canadian Government bases their reimbursement rates. Dental clinics can choose if they follow this fee grid or charge their normal fees and ask the patient to make up the difference. 

I am covered, why do I still have to pay?

You may not have 100% coverage, your office may not follow the CDCP fee grid or a combination of the two. In some provinces, the CDCP fee grid is up to 67% less than the provincial recommended fee guide. For many clinics, the amount of reimbursement is not sufficient to cover operating expenses. 

For example, if the fee based on the CDCP fee grid for a filling is $100 and an individual has 60% coverage. The CDCP will pay the dental clinic $60 for that filling. If the dental clinic’s customer fee is $125, they will ask the patient to pay $65. If the dental clinic follows the CDCP fee grid, they will ask the patient to pay $40.

Is my dentist required to accept CDCP reimbursement?

No, not all dentists or dental clinics are required to participate in the CDCP. Individual providers can choose if they would like to accept CDCP reimbursement. If they do accept, it is up to them to decide if they would like to follow the CDCP fee grid or charge different fees for their services.

Addressing Challenges and Future Directions

The successful rollout of the Dental Care Plan requires overcoming several hurdles, including provider availability and integration with existing health systems. Continuous evaluation will be key to ensuring the plan meets its objectives and adapts to the evolving needs of Canadians.

Conclusion: A Healthier Future for All Canadians

Canada’s Dental Care Plan marks a significant step towards a more inclusive healthcare system, recognizing the critical role of dental care in achieving overall health. As the plan unfolds, it is set to improve the quality of life for countless Canadians, paving the way for a healthier future.



CBC News. (2023, December 12). Canada’s dental care plan benefit. CBC.