The federal government has updated the details on what services will be covered under the new Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) that was announced in December.
The new plan began by providing immediate services for individuals aged 87 and older in December, and then those aged 77 and older in January.
Starting in May, Canadians aged 65 and older with annual household incomes less than $90,000 will be able to get most of their routine dentistry services paid for through CDCP. This will include such things as scalings, fillings, root canals and some denture services.
On Thursday the federal government announced further details on the oral health care services that will be covered under the CDCP to prevent and treat oral health issues and disease, said a Health Canada news release.
The majority of services covered under the CDCP will be available as of May 2024 when the first cohort of CDCP clients will begin to receive services.
Some oral health care services such as crowns, initial placement of partial dentures, and general anesthesia will require preauthorization, prior evaluation from an oral health provider, which will be available beginning in the fall of 2024, said the release.
Health Canada details released on Thursday were focused in part on the importance of oral health.
"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. However, we know that in 2022 one in four Canadians reported avoiding visiting an oral health professional because of the cost and that a third of the people living in Canada do not have dental insurance. Access to oral health care should not be dependent on Canadians' ability to pay," said Health Canada.
"No one should have to choose between taking care of their teeth and paying their bills. Canadians deserve access to affordable dental care, which is essential not only for oral health, but for overall health,” said federal health minister Mark Holland.
The full details of the new seniors’ dental plan are available online here.