Canadian Dental Care Plan set to expand to children under 18, those on assistance

VCC weighs in on the need and barriers to access for dental care

13 April 2023

The federal government recently announced it would be expanding the Canadian Dental Care Plan to include children under 18, seniors and those on other assistance programs, saying it will open care to a total of nine million Canadians. VCC's executive director Meagon Reid discussed the announcement with the Calgary Herald saying she is pleased with the expansion, but it's just scratching the surface.

She explained that often the costs of dental care are often picked up by the non-profit sector through initiatives such as The Alex Dental Health Bus, which visits underserved communities in Calgary and educates kids aged six to 24. "Between September 2020 and June 2021, almost 2,000 students received oral health education, 923 were screened and 45% had active untreated decay with 34% considered urgent."

“Canada as one of the highest income countries was one of the lowest shares of public spending on dental health care. Right now, out of all the dental health care spending in Canada, only five% of that is public, and that’s actually roughly half the rate of the United States,” she said.

Read the full article: Canadian Dental Care Plan set to expand to children under 18, those on assistance

Why is dental care important for poverty reduction?

When an individual’s physical, mental and social health are compromised, their chances of falling into poverty are increased. Calgarians require broad access to an integrated healthcare delivery system and services that are respectful of the diversity of personal situations.