Historic Day for Oral Health of Canada’s Most Vulnerable

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Ottawa, Ontario – (Newsfile Corp. – May 2, 2024) – This is a historic moment for the oral health of Canada’s most vulnerable populations. Yesterday, May 1, many independent dental hygienists began providing treatment to eligible seniors under the Canada Dental Care Plan (CDCP). More than 1.7 million seniors have signed up, with more age groups becoming eligible as the program rolls out in the coming months.

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The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA) and its 22,000 members applaud the federal government for taking direct action to improve access to oral care for those who need it most. CDHA President Francine Trudeau said the participation of a large number of oral health professionals is critical to the success of the program, “but independent dental hygienists will play an especially critical role in providing needed preventive oral health services.” Trudeau added that dental hygienists help improve access to care for underserved populations by “providing preventive and therapeutic services in dental hygiene clinics, long-term care facilities, patients' homes, schools and through mobile clinics.” Independent dental hygienists also travel to northern, rural and remote communities in Canada where access to dentistry and dental hygiene services is limited or non-existent.

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This plan isn't perfect, but it's a good start. CDHA continues to advocate for increased coverage of preventive services, adding new services such as oral health education and health promotion strategies, oral appliance care, and services that have a direct impact on oral function/pain and quality of life, and adding scaling and root surfaces Flat frequency limit. Our initiative also includes addressing the disparity between dental hygiene and dental reimbursement rates for the same services and ensuring that the program does not place an administrative burden on front desk staff and does not rely heavily on preauthorization of dental services.

Reimbursement rates are a primary concern because CDCP-mandated rates for independent practice dental hygienists are on average 15% less than published rates for dental care provided by dental hygienists working in dental offices. Health Minister Mark Holland has assured the CDHA that cost parity will be achieved in future iterations of the program, but he has yet to set a clear timeline for this important adjustment. and anti-competitiveness must be addressed as quickly as possible.

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CDHA and the provincial dental health associations feel strongly that dental hygienists have a critical role to play in providing basic oral health care under this program. “Our team of professional dentists is committed to ensuring that all Canadians have access to essential dental care,” said Sally Lloyd, R.D., R.D., owner of Lifetime Smiles Dental Hygiene Clinic in Calgary, Alberta. The dental team is signed up to extend our services to as many individuals as possible We often hear that even basic preventive dental care is a luxury that is not available to everyone at our Moose Creek, Ontario dental hygiene clinic. Guylaine Souligny Theoret, RDH added, “Voici ma [première] Dental project patients. Super exciting! It went very smoothly! This is a great program for the general public who cannot afford dental care, but let's advocate for more dental cleanings per year to benefit these clients who often need more preventive services.

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CDHA will continue to monitor further developments and actively work with government and other stakeholders to strengthen CDCP.

About the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA):
CDHA is the national voice for dental hygienists in Canada. Representing more than 31,000 dental hygienists nationwide, CDHA advocates for the advancement and promotion of the oral hygiene profession while maintaining a commitment to the public's oral health. Dental hygiene is the sixth largest regulated health profession in Canada, with professionals working in a variety of settings, including independent dental hygiene practices, working with people of all ages to address oral health-related issues. For more information about oral health, visit dentalhygienecanada.ca. For more information about CDHA's work, visit cdha.ca.

Media Contact
Angie D'Aoust, Director of Marketing and Communications


To view the source version of this release, please visit https://www.newsfilecorp.com/release/207790


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