Canadian dentists to government: Here’s how to build a strong dental care plan

TORONTO, Nov. 16, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In just a few weeks, the federal government is expected to announce the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP). Dentists want to help the government develop a plan that will work well for patients, dental care providers and taxpayers alike.

This week, dental associations across Canada are sharing their collective expertise with all Canadians. A Proposed Framework for the Canadian Dental Care Plan is now available for anyone to read. This comprehensive and actionable framework for a strong dental care program is based on data, research and input from dental experts across regions and specialties. It is a collection of the advice the associations have offered the government over the past few months.

Dentists believe that a strong CDCP should:

  • Safeguard access to dental care by respecting the current workplace, school and/or group dental insurance system
  • Allow each patient to choose their own dentist in their community
  • Ensure people can access the dental care they need without having to deal with needless administrative delays and red tape
  • Work with existing government dental programs so people can get the most out of the dental care they’re entitled to
  • Fairly compensate the dental professionals who deliver the care

In addition to the Proposed Framework, dentists urge the government to implement a coordinated plan to increase skilled labour for dental offices. There are already serious shortages of dental hygienists and dental assistants across Canada. The CDCP will dramatically increase staffing demands in dental practices. Without enough of these skilled professionals, patients could face delays in getting the dental care they need.

Until the federal government can deliver a strong CDCP, dental associations recommend at least a temporary expansion of an initiative that is already working for Canadians – the Canada Dental Benefit. This is a fixed dollar amount that a patient can use to be reimbursed for dental-related expenses. Nearly nine out of 10 Canadians support the Canada Dental Benefit, and public surveys suggest that most would support an oral health spending account as a permanent solution.

A Proposed Framework for the Canadian Dental Care Plan is now available on the websites of Canada’s provincial and territorial dental associations, including


“We all want the same thing – a successful and sustainable Canadian Dental Care Plan. The only way we reach our goal is if dentists and policy makers work together to create a plan that benefits patients, while respecting both providers and taxpayers." – Dr. Bruce Yaholnitsky, President, Alberta Dental Association

"As oral health providers, BC dentists welcome the opportunity that the Canadian Dental Care Plan offers to raise the oral and overall health of Canadians, especially those facing financial barriers. The CDCP’s long-term success is premised on addressing patient needs while being fair and sustainable." – Dr. Rob Wolanski, President, British Columbia Dental Association

“This dental program has the opportunity to benefit the oral health of Canadians! This can make a real difference for so many. We hope the government can benefit from the united work our provincial and territorial dental associations have provided to make this program a success!” – Dr. Scott Leckie, President, Manitoba Dental Association 

“Dentists are your partners in oral health and the provincial and territorial dental associations are continuing to do what we can to help the federal government enhance access to care for Canadians through the CDCP.” – Dr. Shane Roberts, President, Newfoundland and Labrador Dental Association

“The dentists of Canada pride themselves on the high quality of oral health care they provide to Canadians. We want to see this historic government investment provide the same high quality of care made accessible to our more vulnerable populations.” – Dr. Juli Waterbury, President, Nova Scotia Dental Association

The CDCP could become one of Canada's greatest achievements in public health, but only if the government gets it right. Canada's provincial and territorial dental associations have worked hard to help the government create a CDCP that Canadians can be proud of.” – Dr. Brock Nicolucci, President, Ontario Dental Association

“As Saskatchewan’s oral health providers, we welcome the opportunity that the Canadian Dental Care Plan offers to raise the oral and overall health of all Canadians, including those facing financial barriers. We are hopeful that the plan’s design will be successful and sustainable for patients and dentists alike.” – Dr. Derek Thiessen, President, College of Dental Surgeons of Saskatchewan

Media Contact:
Katherine Howska