Dentists raise concerns about Canada’s dental care plan payment structure ahead of roll out

The federal government is set to launch a dental care scheme in May, but some dentists are not happy with the terms.

The multibillion-dollar Canada Dental Care Plan should help reduce barriers for low- and moderate-income Canadians to access dental care without private insurance.

Services covered under the plan include those recommended by your oral health care provider:

  • Preventive services including descaling (cleaning), sealants and fluoride
  • Diagnostic services, including exams and X-rays
  • Restorative services, including fillings
  • Endodontic services, including root canal treatment
  • Restorative dental services, including:
    • complete dentures, and
    • partial dentures
  • Periodontal services including deep scaling
  • Oral surgery services, including tooth extractions

The program will reimburse a percentage of expenses based on established expenses and an individual's adjusted family net income.

According to CTV News, 5,000 dental practices have signed up, and there are currently 1.7 million eligible applicants over the age of 70.

Since December last year, the government has been strictly restricting the application qualifications of those over 70 years old. Seniors ages 65 to 69 will become eligible in May, while adults with a disability tax credit and children under 18 will become eligible in June.

The rest of the population will become eligible starting in 2025.

But some dentists are concerned about the program's pay structure and paperwork load and won't sign on until the federal government fully addresses their concerns, according to multiple dental associations.

“We haven't seen the details yet, and as we know, the devil is in the details,” Dr. Brock Nicolucci, president of the Ontario Dental Association, told CTV News on Monday.

The public has also reacted to the upcoming product.

“My father called all five dentists in town. None of them offered this service.

The government proposed a benefit that they could not provide. That’s ridiculous,” one X user wrote.

“My dentist and I discussed this issue at length when I last had my teeth filled. The reimbursement rates are well below Ontario rates, and dentists participating in the CDCP do so for charitable purposes,” one Reddit user wrote.

“Not this time for dentists. They've seen what family doctors like me are facing now and they won't make the same mistake,” another Reddit user said.

For more information about eligibility and applying to join the program, visit the federal government website.

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