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Canadian Dental Care Plan opens for local citizens

Posted on May 9, 2024 by Vauxhall Advance

As of May 1, the Canadian Dental Care Plan kicks off coverage for eligible and approved seniors.

The coverage marks a significant time in our healthcare system where dental care will be available to those that may not have been able to afford it in the past.

Oral health has a significant impact on our overall health and its integration into the lives of many will have potential for health benefits for years to come.

Seniors could start applying back in December 2023 and those that have already applied may have their introductory kits from Sun Life, who are the administrators of the CDCP on behalf of the Government of Canada.

Oral health care providers including dentists, dental hygienists, denturists, endodontists, periodontists, oral surgeons, etc were invited and encouraged to enroll as official providers for the plan earlier this year – the enrollment hasn’t been quite what the government expected as it remains quite low and some providers that have enrolled have stated they are not accepting the plan at this time. Low enrollment may be partially attributed to many restorative or major services requiring pre-authorization, which is not available until November 2024. Full list of services covered under the CDCP as well as all the information to apply is located at Canada.ca. All official providers of the plan can be found at sunlife.ca.

Canadians on other government assistance programs such as Alberta Dental Services Corporation or Non-Insured Health Benefits program may be eligible for CDCP as well. They are the only exceptions for Canadians with dental benefits – all other applicants must have no dental insurance or no access to insurance (they cannot have a health spending account and cannot have opted out of any employer or educational benefits). Full eligibility criteria can be found on Canada.ca – applicants must be Canadian Citizens, filed their 2023 taxes, and have a net family income of less than $90,000.

Shine Dental Hygiene Centre in Taber have enrolled as providers and are ready to start preventative care for those in need. Most preventative services are covered by CDCP so we are excited to get patients started on their oral health regimen.

We are a small, professional team of one Admin and two Registered Dental Hygienists with more than 15 years of experience in the dental industry. Shine has been open in Taber for almost six years and we provide preventative care consisting of exams, x-rays, and cleanings among other services. Dental Hygienists are primary oral health care providers with the ability to work outside of the traditional dental office. Alberta dental hygienists have one of the broadest scope of practices in Canada – they are able to diagnose, refer and/or treat many oral health conditions.

We hope that more providers join soon and will pass along that information when we have it. Taber Denture Clinic is another official provider also accepting CDCP at this time.

The program is not perfect, but it’s a start and is better than nothing. We hope to see the CDCP grow and evolve and look forward to seeing the positive impact it can bring to those that have gone without or with less oral healthcare than they need.

Currently the coverage is tiered – meaning that the coverage is 40-100 per cent of the CDCP fee guide depending on the applicant’s income. Most patients will have a portion to pay but providers should be able to give patients a heads up on what they should expect.

Our office has an information sheet available outlining who is eligible, how to apply, what coverage allows, etc. The Canada.ca website contains a more complete list of the particulars of the program but if you would prefer a person to talk to we welcome any questions and are happy to assist you in any way that we can.

We look forward to continuing to serve Taber and area.

Kind regards,

Aryn Kramer, RDH, Taber

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