Sheehan announces rollout of new affordable dental care plan.

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, Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour and Seniors, is announcing 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.

“The Canadian Dental Care Plan will help people in Sault Ste. Marie and millions of Canadians to access quality dental care. It will lead to improved health outcomes, reduced burdens on our health care system, and savings for those on fixed incomes who currently do not have access to oral health care. We want every Canadian to age in health, in comfort, and in dignity.” said, Terry Sheehan, MP for Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour and Seniors

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 ages 87 and above in December 2023, expanding in phases to those ages 77 to 86 in January 2024, followed by those ages 72 to 76 in February 2024, then those ages 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, ages 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

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