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Frequently Asked Questions: Canadian Dental Care Plan

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) National Office has prepared this fact sheet to spread the word about the Canadian Dental Care Plan and to answer your questions. 

The federal government has launched a program called the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) to cover the cost of some dental care. People who are now eligible for the plan include people with disabilities (who hold a Disability Tax Credit [DTC] certificate), as well as children under the age of 18 and people aged 65 and over. The plan is intended for individuals and families with low-to-moderate incomes who don’t have private or workplace dental insurance.  

Children/youth (and parents on their behalf), as well as seniors and DTC certificate-holders can now submit applications for the CDCP. Once approved, plan members can visit a dentist who is willing to deliver services under the program and have their visit covered partially or completely. 

We continue to work to improve access to federal supports for people who need them. If you have thoughts or questions about government benefits or the advocacy we do, you can reach us directly at [email protected]

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Who is eligible for the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP)? 

This federal program now covers people in Canada who are under age 18, 65 or older, or a person with a disability who holds a valid Disability Tax Credit (DTC) certificate. They must also: 

More detailed information about eligibility criteria is available through or by calling Service Canada at 1-833-537-4342. 

The rest of the adult population in Canada will become eligible for the CDCP in 2025, if they meet the above eligibility requirements.  

How do I get a Disability Tax Credit (DTC) certificate? 

If you are applying as a person with a disability, you will need to have a Disability Tax Credit certificate to qualify for the benefit. As this is also a federal program, the Government of Canada provides detailed information about how to apply for a Disability Tax Credit certificate (which can be done at any time). For more information, visit their website or call 1-800-959-8281

CMHA is advocating to make it easier for people with disabilities to get a DTC certificate, including those with mental health and substance-use disabilities.  

I already have some public dental coverage – can I still access the CDCP? 

If you have some dental coverage through a provincial, territorial, or federal government social program, you may still qualify for the CDCP. If you meet all other eligibility requirements, your coverage will be coordinated between the plans. 

I already have some dental coverage through private or workplace insurance. Am I eligible for the CDCP? 

You are NOT eligible for the CDCP if you have any type of dental insurance or coverage through:  

If you fall into one of the above categories, you’re not eligible for the CDCP even if you don’t use the coverage you have access to or you have to pay a premium for it. 

You are also not eligible for the CDCP if you have coverage through a current dental insurance policy that you or a family member purchased privately, as long as that coverage is in effect. 

How do I apply for the CDCP (for myself or my child[ren])? 

Applications can be submitted online through the Government of Canada’s website ( or by phone at 1-833-537-4342.  

To complete the CDCP application, you will need to provide the following information for yourself and your spouse or common-law partner (if you have one): 

You and your spouse/common-law partner (if you have one) must also have filed tax return(s) for 2023 and received your Notice(s) of Assessment. If you need help to start filing your taxes, visit

You can apply for the CDCP with the help of a trusted person (a friend, a translator, etc.) or through someone who has been legally delegated to act on your behalf (through power-of-attorney or similar arrangement). 

When can I start using the CDCP? 

Within three months of applying, you will receive a welcome package from Sun Life (the company managing the CDCP on behalf of the government) with a membership card and the date your coverage will start. 

Will all dentists accept the plan? 

Not all dentists will accept the plan. As of July 8, you can use the CDCP with any licensed dentist, dental hygienist, dental specialist, or denturist, if they agree to bill Sun Life directly for services provided under the plan. To find a participating dental provider, you can reach out to dental offices directly. Or you can contact Sun Life at 1-888-888-8110 or use their online provider search tool.  

What services will the CDCP cover and are there limits on how much I can use the plan each year? 

The CDCP applies to a wide range of oral health care services. Covered services could include: 

Some dental services (e.g. crowns, deep sedation) will require preauthorization through your dentist to confirm that you’ll be covered under the CDCP. These will only become available in November 2024. 

While there are no total spending limits under the plan, there are limits on how often you can use your benefits for different services. 

How much does the CDCP cover? 

The CDCP will only pay the cost of dental services up to the rates provided through the CDCP. If your oral health provider has higher prices for their services, you may need to cover the difference out-of-pocket and/or through another government social program that includes dental coverage.  

You may also have to pay a portion of the cost of the covered services (known as a co-payment) depending on what your family income is. 

Make sure you confirm before you receive treatment if you will have to pay your dentist for anything, and if so, how much. After receiving care, you will have to pay any outstanding amounts not covered by the CDCP directly to your dentist.  

Will I have to pay a deductible or a co-payment? 

There is no deductible amount for the CDCP, but there may be a co-payment required, depending on your family income.  

As a CDCP client, you will be expected to make a co-payment equal to: 

Co-payments are calculated based on the rates set by the CDCP for the different dental services it covers. If your dentist charges more for those services, you’re responsible for paying the entirety of the remaining cost out-of-pocket and/or through another government social program that includes dental coverage. 

To avoid unexpected costs, what should I do before getting dental treatment? 

How long will my coverage last?  

Plan members will need to meet the eligibility requirements every year to qualify for the CDCP, with more information to come on the annual reassessment process. 

Where can I go for further information? 

You can find detailed information about the CDCP through the Government of Canada’s website,, or by calling Service Canada at 1-833-537-4342 (TTY: 1-833-677-6262). 

About CMHA   
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is the most established, most extensive community mental health federation in Canada, with a presence in more than 330 communities across every province and the Yukon. CMHA provides advocacy, programs and resources that help to prevent mental health problems and illnesses, support recovery and resilience, and enable all Canadians to flourish and thrive.