In the most recent federal budget, an expansion to the Canada Dental Benefit, initially announced in fall 2022, was declared. It’s a significant development that aims to make dental and oral health care accessible to more Canadians. This expansion transforms the benefit into the Canadian Dental Care Plan, a significant stride towards universal dental care access in Canada. The government is making a substantial investment in this plan, amounting to $13 billion over five years, followed by $4.4 billion in permanent annual funding. 

Let’s break down who will benefit from this plan and how.

Children under 12

Initially, the focus is on children under 12, particularly those whose parents do not have access to private dental insurance and have a family net income under $90,000 per year. The interim benefit covers dental care received during two predefined periods. The first period caters to children under 12 as of December 1st, 2022, covering dental care received between October 1st, 2022, and June 30, 2023. The second period, from July 1st, 2023, to June 30, 2024, is for children under 12 as of July 1st, 2023. 

Eligibility Criteria

So, what do you need to be eligible for this benefit? Here are the key criteria:

  • You have a child under 12 for whom you currently receive the Canada Child Benefit;

  • You have an adjusted family net income under $90,000;

  • You do not have access to private dental insurance for your child;

  • You have filed your 2021 tax return;

  • You have had or will have out-of-pocket expenses for your child’s dental care services incurred between October 1st, 2022, and June 30, 2023, for which the costs are not fully covered or reimbursed by another dental program provided by any level of government. 

The benefit amounts are tax-free and vary depending on your 2021 adjusted family net income. 

2021 adjusted family net income

Under $70,000

$70,000 to $79,999

$80,000 to $89,999

Maximum benefit amount/child/period

$650 (no co-pay)



Starting July 1st, 2023, some children whose dental costs exceed the maximum benefit amount may receive an additional payment.

It’s also important to note how this plan interacts with other programs. If another level of government provides a dental program, that program takes precedence over the federal plan. For example, in Quebec, certain services for children under 10 are covered free of charge by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ). Any costs not covered by RAMQ could potentially be covered under the Canadian Dental Care Plan, following applicable rules and maximums. 

Extended Coverage Commencing in 2023

As the program evolves, by the conclusion of 2023, it will encompass Canadians under the age of 18, individuals with disabilities, and seniors earning an annual family income below $90,000. 

Progressing further, by the year 2025, the Canadian Dental Care Plan aims to include all Canadians who have an annual family income under $90,000 and do not possess private dental insurance.

You might be wondering how these changes will impact dental coverage under group insurance plans. As of now, it’s too early to tell since some details are yet to be disclosed by the federal government. However, please be assured that we are vigilantly following these developments and will keep you updated as we learn more. We understand the importance of ensuring you and your loved ones have access to the dental care you need, and we’re here to help you navigate these changes every step of the way. 

Remember, dental health is a vital part of overall health. This Canadian Dental Care Plan expansion represents an important step toward improved access to dental care for many Canadians. By understanding how these changes may impact you and your family, you can make informed decisions that support your ongoing health and wellness.

As always, we are here to help answer your questions and provide guidance. Together, we can navigate these changes and ensure you continue to receive the best care possible.