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The National Dental Plan in Canada

February 28, 2023

Official Release: CDA policy paper on federal investments in dental care

A message from CDA President, Dr. Lynn Tomkins

In collaboration with provincial and territorial dental associations, CDA has prepared the policy paper [linked below] to serve as a roadmap for the federal government as it creates a long-term dental program for underserved Canadians. The policy paper, Bridging the Financial Gap in Dental Care: Building a sustainable and effective federally funded program, follows the federal government’s historic investment in dental care, announced in Budget 2022.

CDA’s key recommendations include:

  • Promoting the delivery of dental care primarily through the existing network of dental offices, supplemented as needed by public clinics
  • Publicly funded coverage remaining a payer of last resort, after any privately funded coverage
  • Addressing human resource challenges and staffing shortages in the oral health sector
  • Ensuring that a dental care formula includes the full cost of treatment provided to patients

Canadians receive some of the best oral health care in the world, and the majority of Canadians visit the dentist every year. Dental care in Canada is delivered largely through private dental clinics owned and operated by highly trained and educated dental professionals. It is mainly financed through private dental coverage or via out-of-pocket payments. For more than a century, this system has provided quality dental care to thousands of patients and benefited the oral health of Canadians, which has improved in the past few decades.

But even the best systems have gaps and challenges. Two-thirds of Canadians have private dental coverage that funds all or part of their dental care.  Without dental coverage, especially employer-sponsored benefits, the average Canadian would not be able to afford dental care. This is why the promised federal investment of $5.3 billion into Canadian dental care is so important.

Also [below] is a one-pager to provide a snapshot of the recommendations. Please feel free to reach out if you would like to meet regarding this paper. We would be pleased to have a discussion.

CDA Policy Paper_Snapshot_One Pager.pdf




November 11, 2022

DIAC Attends Health Canada Briefing on New Canada Dental Benefit

Over the last few months the DIAC Board and management have been engaging with Health Canada Dental Task Force to understand and input into the development of the new federal program.

Executive Director Rhonda Lawson, Manager of Communications and Member Services Heather Plewes-LaBerge, and numerous DIAC Board members were invited to attend a briefing on 'Bill C31, An Act respecting benefits in relation to dental care' with the Director General of the Dental Care Task Force at Health Canada, Linda VanAmburg and members of her team.

We're pleased to be able to share the slides from that briefing with our members.

Click here to view the presentations in English or French

Remember: Your opinion and ideas matter! Please share your feedback with DIAC so that we can be a voice for you, the members of the dental industry, in this important process with Health Canada.

Email us anytime at

Updated September 13, 2022

DIAC is actively engaging with Health Canada on behalf of our members as the new National Dental Plan proposed by the federal government is being developed. 

On July 8, DIAC Executive Director, Rhonda Lawson, and Heather Plewes, DIAC's Manager of Communications & Member Services, met (virtually) with Lindy VanAmburg, Executive Director and other members of the Dental Care Task Force at Health Canada to provide a brief introduction on the history, purpose and goals of the Association as they pertain to development of a National Dental Plan.

A small DIAC task force consisting of Rhonda Lawson, Heather Plewes, President Henry Doyle, Past-President Jim Wareing, and five additional representatives from the Board of Directors was formed in July 2022. Based on input from members of the task force, Rhonda Lawson drafted a Discussion Paper for submission to the Dental Care Task Force within the Strategic Policy Branch at Health Canada and the paper was submitted electronically on August 5.

On September 6, the DIAC task force met with Lindy VanAmburg, Executive Director and other members of her team at Health Canada to discuss development of the program, ask questions, and share knowledge of the Canadian oral healthcare landscape. 

Continued collaboration between the DIAC task force and Health Canada is expected.

Related documents are available to view and download:

CDA Policy Paper and associated documents (linked above)
- February 28, 2023

Health Canada Briefing Presentations (linked above)
- November 11, 2022

DIAC's Discussion Paper
- August 5, 2022

Public Services and Procurement Canada Request for Information (RFI) on the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) for Health Canada
- July 22, 2022

Align Technology Response to Health Canada’s RFI regarding the Canadian Dental Care Plan
- August 19, 2022

C.D. Howe Institute Commentary No. 510 - 'Filling the Cavities: Improving the Efficiency and Equity of Canada’s Dental Care System'
- May 2018

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