The Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) is a federal government program that is intended to provide coverage for Canadian residents who do not have dental benefits and have a household income of less than $90,000 a year.

Filling in the facts about the CDCP

Please tell your dental provider if you plan to use CDCP benefits as their practice may or may not participate in the federal program.

Frequently Asked Questions

The federal government has opened application for the CDCP in phases starting in December 2023. Seniors who are eligible will receive letters inviting them to apply, with instructions on how to validate their eligibility and apply by telephone. Letters from the government will be sent according to the following age groups:

December 2023: Ages 87 and above
January 2024: Ages 77 to 86
February 2024: Ages 72 to 76
March 2024: Ages 70 to 71

In May 2024, an online application portal will be open for seniors 65 and older. If you have a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate or have a child under the age of 18, you will be able to apply online as of June 2024. All remaining eligible Canadians will be able to apply online in 2025. For more information on eligibility, visit

Examples of services that could be covered under the CDCP when recommended by your dentist include:

Preventive services, including scaling (cleaning), polishing, sealants, and fluoride;
Diagnostic services, including examinations and X-rays;
Restorative services, including fillings;
Endodontic services, including root canal treatments;
Prosthodontic services, including complete and partial removable dentures;
Periodontal services, including deep scaling; and
Oral surgery services, including extractions.

Every group has a different level of coverage so that will impact your level of co-payment and also the remaining balance billed by the dental clinic.
It is best to call Health Canada to discuss your specific coverage.
For more information on services covered, access the CDCP Dental Benefits Guide.

If you are eligible for existing provincial government programs, you will still be able to apply for the CDCP.

Benefits will be coordinated between the programs, which means that your coverage will not be duplicated.

The federal government is now working with the provinces and territories to figure out how this will work.

Health Canada has committed to clarifying which programs will be the first and last payer before services begin as early as May of 2024.

Not having access to dental insurance is defined as:

no dental insurance through your employer or a family member’s employer benefits, including health and wellness accounts;
no dental insurance through your pension (previous employer) or a family member’s pension benefits; or
no dental insurance purchased by yourself or by a family member or through a group plan from an insurance or benefits company.

The government has said that the CDCP is not intended to replace existing workplace or private dental benefits. It is meant for Canadians who do not have dental benefits.
If you have existing insurance, you SHOULD NOT cancel your insurance as not all details of the CDCP are public knowledge at this point.
You’re still considered to have access to dental insurance if you choose to opt out of available benefits like these.

Once you’ve applied through Health Canada and they confirm that you qualify, your information will be shared with Sun Life, who will enroll you in the CDCP. 

Sun Life will then send you your coverage start date and member card.  

The start date to access care under the CDCP depends on the date you were enrolled.  You should contact the government with any specific questions regarding your eligibility under the CDCP.  



Application Open 

Seniors aged 87 and above 

Started December 2023 

Adults with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate 

Starting June 2024 

Children under the age of 18  

Starting June 2024 

All remaining eligible Canadian residents 

Starting 2025 

No. It’s better to continue getting regular dental checkups now to catch problems before they become painful and expensive to treat, and apply for the plan when you are eligible to do so.

We don’t know and this should concern us all. Two-thirds of Canadians have great dental benefits from their work, school, or other group plan. These plans give them a choice of dentist, and the right to choose what dental care they get.

Dentists believe that the CDCP should improve access to care for people who don’t have benefits. It shouldn’t take away the benefits that people already have.

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