Is the Canada Dental Benefit for you?

The Canada Dental Benefit

The Canada Dental Benefit* is a national dental care program that will provide benefit payments to cover dental expenses for Canadians with annual household incomes of less than $90,000 and no private dental insurance coverage.

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Why do we need the Canada Dental Benefit?

Did you know that the Medical Services Plan in BC doesn’t cover most procedures related to dental health for the majority of people? Although many Canadians have private dental insurance, some don’t. Some people hesitate to see a dentist due to the cost. The Canada Dental Benefit is a step towards helping Canadians get the dental care they need for good oral health.

When does the program start?

The program is being implemented in stages starting this year, until 2025. This year on December 1, phase 1 will start with children under 12. By 2023, the program will include children under 18, seniors and people living with a disability. By 2025, all uninsured families with an annual household income of less than $90,000 will be eligible.

Who is part of phase 1?

The first phase that is intended to start on December 1 will include children under the age of 12 with an annual family income of less than $90,000, with no private dental insurance. Once the program starts, it will cover dental expenses that were paid retroactive to October 1, 2022. The parents or guardians need to apply for the Canada Dental Benefit through the Canada Revenue Agency.

How much is the benefit?

Depending on your family income and eligibility, you could receive a tax-free benefit payment of up to $650 per child per year. 

If your family’s net annual income is less than $70,000, the maximum amount possible per child per year is $650.
If your family’s net annual income is between $70,000 to $79,999, the maximum amount possible per child per year is $390.
If your family’s net annual income is between $80,000 to $89,999, the maximum amount possible per child per year is $260.

Is the benefit enough to cover all dental work needed?

The cost will depend on various factors. One factor is whether your child is seeing a general practice dentist or a specialist pediatric dentist. Although all dentists are trained to work with children, pediatric dentists have additional training. A specialist’s fees will be higher compared to general dentists in most cases. If you’re not sure whether your child needs to see a specialist or not and you’re located near the Panorama Ridge and Sullivan Station area in Surrey, you could start by booking an appointment with us.  Family dentists Dr. Chow or Dr. Bellusci will examine your child’s teeth and discuss what your child needs, and recommend where it could be done. Other factors include the age and oral health of your child and they can greatly affect how much their dental care would cost. If you would like a more accurate idea of how much a dental visit in Surrey, B.C. would cost, please feel free to contact us for an estimate. The Canadian Dental Association recommends that children start going to the dentist when they get their first tooth, or when they’re 1 year old, whichever comes first. For majority of children at this age, the benefit amount would be more than enough to cover the visits twice a year. However, a $260 subsidy is typically enough to cover an older child’s first checkup, X-rays, and cleaning. We encourage you to bring your child to the dentist as soon as possible so that small issues, like cavities, can be caught and managed immediately.

*Please note: This article is our understanding of the program and is not meant to be official advice. For details and the most up to date, accurate information, visit the official CRA website.

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