The Canadian Dental Care Plan

The Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) is a federal government program intended to reduce financial barriers to oral health care Canadians without a dental plan. The program will provide a dental care subsidy for Canadian residents who do not have dental benefits and have an adjusted household income of less than $90,000 a year.

If you or someone you care for is eligible for the CDCP, here is what you should know before you book your next dental appointment.

Know Before You Go

For many patients, treatments under the CDCP will not be free

Some CDCP patients won’t have the full cost of their appointment covered. Depending on your family’s income, you may need to pay a percentage of the cost. The federal government will only pay a portion of the CDCP fees and you will be responsible for additional charges known as co-payments. You will have to be pay these amounts directly to your dentist, if:

  • your adjusted family net income is between $70,000 and $89,999; and
  • you agree to dental care that the CDCP does not cover.

Below is the co-payment breakdown based on adjusted family income.

Adjusted family net incomeHow much will the CDCP coverHow much you will cover
Lower than $70,000100% of eligible oral health care service costs will be covered at the CDCP established fees.0% of the CDCP established fees.
Between $70,000 and $79,99960% of eligible oral health care service costs will be covered at the CDCP established fees.40% of the CDCP established fees.
Between $80,000 and $89,99940% of eligible oral health care service costs will be covered at the CDCP established fees.60% of the CDCP established fees.

In addition to the co-payment requirements listed above, many of the established fees covered by the federal government do not meet the full cost of the treatment in a dental office. The difference will be on you.

Additional care is not available until the fall

Limited dental care options are currently available to patients until preauthorization starts in November 2024. Preauthorization is a process where prior approval is required before the treatment can be provided to the patient. This preauthorization is based on a treatment recommendation from a dentist and must be approved by the government to proceed.

Until preauthorization begins, eligible patients can access care up to certain frequencies and only for certain procedures. The Government of Canada website has more information on this, but we encourage patients to speak with their dentist before their next appointment to avoid any surprises at the time of the appointment.

Not everyone is eligible for the plan at the same time

The federal government has committed to rolling out the CDCP coverage in stages. Health Canada is using a staggered approach to patients’ eligibility for care based on their registration date and age cohort. Below are the expected timelines for applications to the CDCP. The application timeline is when the eligible group can apply to participate in the CDCP, but that is not the date that you can start receiving dental care under the plan.

We strongly suggest patients check their eligibility letter/card for their coverage start date.

GroupApplications open
Seniors aged 87 and aboveStarting December 2023
Seniors aged 77 to 86Starting January 2024
Seniors aged 72 to 76Starting February 2024
Seniors aged 70 to 71Starting March 2024
Seniors aged 65 to 69Starting May 2024
Persons with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificateStarting June 2024
Children under age 18Starting June 2024
All remaining eligible Canadian residentsStarting 2025

Find Out More

To learn more about the CDCP, visit

To find an oral health care provider who will treat you under the CDCP, visit

Frequently Asked Questions

Canadian dental care plan (Cdcp)

Yes, the Province has confirmed that Albertans remain eligible to qualify for and receive care under the Canadian Dental Care Plan.

The Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) is not intended to replace existing dental coverage. It is important that Canadians do not drop their existing coverage, as they might not be eligible for the CDCP if they do.

The CDCP is designed to provide coverage for Canadians who do not have an existing dental plan.

The Canada Revenue Agency now requires employers to report on their T4/T4A whether their employees and their families had access to dental plan coverage, including spending and wellness accounts.

Individuals must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) coverage.

  • No access to dental plan, meaning:
    • no coverage through employer or a family member’s employer benefits; including health and wellness accounts;
    • no coverage through pension (previous employer) or a family member’s pension benefits; or
    • no coverage through a purchased plan by yourself or by a family member or through a group plan from an insurance or benefits company.
  • an adjusted annual family net income of less than $90,000;
  • be a Canadian resident for tax purposes; and
  • have filed their tax return in the previous year.

Canadian residents who have access to dental benefits through a social program offered by their province or territory and/or by the federal government will be eligible for the CDCP if they meet all the eligibility criteria.

Patients who decide to opt out of benefits available to them from their employer, school, etc. will be considered by the federal government as someone who has access to dental plan. This means if you decline dental coverage through your/your spouse’s employment benefits, you will not be eligible for the CDCP.

Read more on Health Canada’s website to see if you qualify.

If you have dental coverage through a provincial, territorial, or federal government social program, you can still qualify for the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP). If you meet all the eligibility criteria, your coverage will be coordinated between the plans to ensure there are no duplications or gaps in coverage.

Health Canada has indicated that as of March 11, 2024, oral health providers will be able to enter into an agreement directly with Sun Life to participate in the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP). Participation in the CDCP is voluntary.

As of July 8, 2024, oral health providers can direct bill Sun Life for services provided on a claim-by-claim basis to receive payment under the CDCP.

The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) and the Provincial and Territorial Dental Associations recommend that providers assess and understand the terms and conditions of the CDCP and how participating fits with their practice before signing any agreement.

The CDA and ADA have long advocated for targeted investments to improve access to oral health care and we believe the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) will help improve access to care for many Albertans, especially for vulnerable populations.

CDA alongside provincial and territorial dental associations and other stakeholders have worked diligently to provide insights and technical expertise to the government for the development and implementation of the CDCP.

We have emphasized our key recommendations from our February 2023  policy paper to guide the development of the CDCP, such as holistic oral health, patient-centred care, prioritization of preventative care, and support for existing dental offices by eliminating administrative burdens and ensuring that a strategy is in place to help address human resource challenges.

Canada Dental Benefit (CDB)

ADA gratefully acknowledges the Ontario Dental Association and the BC Dental Association for providing the original content used as a reference for the above FAQ.