Ontario’s dentists want to give some clarity at a time of confusion
TORONTO, ON — When the federal government announced plans to create the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) earlier this year, tens of thousands of people without dental coverage felt a sense of relief. The Ontario Dental Association (ODA) was also happy to hear about this much needed investment in dental care, but there are more questions than answers at this point.
The federal health minister met with the ODA and other provincial dental associations this week to start figuring out how they’re going to run the CDCP. We still don’t know how it will be administered, what services will be covered or how it will work with Ontario’s existing dental programs – all of which are massively underfunded. In the meantime, the ODA has been hearing from patients thinking about delaying dental care or cancelling their benefit coverage in the hopes their costs will be covered by the CDCP. This is not a good idea.
ODA President Dr. Lisa Bentley says, “We don’t know what care will be included, or when that coverage will even start. To stay healthy and prevent pain or expensive treatment, it’s better to keep getting your regular dental checkups until details about the CDCP are made clear.”
Updated estimates of the original $5.3 billion plan suggest the true cost of the program could be more than $9 billion dollars, which could work out to less than $200 in coverage for each household per year. The ODA is asking for a spot at the table to help create the CDCP. We represent over 10,000 dentists so it only makes sense we’re part of the discussion. We’re the experts and can give the insight needed to make sure people get the care they need and taxpayer money will be used wisely.
You can find an up-to-date FAQ page on the Canadian Dental Care Plan at ODA.ca/cdcp. Patients should also feel comfortable discussing this issue with their dentist.
The ODA has been Ontario’s primary source for dental information since 1867 and represents over 10,000, or 90 per cent, of dentists in the province. For more dental care tips and COVID-19 updates, including what to expect at your next dental appointment, go to www.oda.ca.