12 Best Dental Insurance In Canada Options (2024)

Are you shopping for affordable dental insurance? Whether you’re looking for basic or comprehensive dental plans, you’re in the right place.

You only get one set of teeth in life, so it’s wise to do your best to care for them. However, 22.4% of Canadians avoid going to the dentist due to the cost, according to a 2018 report by Stats Canada.

Below, I’ll go over some of the best dental insurance in Canada options, so you can make sure your teeth are covered.

Why You Should Consider Dental Coverage

As a whole, Canadians have good oral hygiene. Around 84% of the population has good or excellent oral health, according to the Canadian Dental Association (CDA). In addition to healthy habits and good hygiene, around three-quarters of the population sees a dentist at least once a year.

Then again, around 68% of the population has at least some type of dental coverage, per the CDA.

Many who are uninsured simply can’t justify the high cost of visiting a dentist without insurance. As a result, they may avoid their dental problems hoping they’ll just go away.

Unfortunately, Canada’s free healthcare system doesn’t cover dental. Although lower-income individuals may be eligible for assistance with their bills, most Canadians must pay for dental care out of pocket.

Best Dental Insurance Plans In Canada

Even basic dental coverage is better than no coverage. Like life insurance plans, it pays to be proactive.

Before receiving a quote, you may be required to undergo dental exams to assess any pre-existing conditions. You’ll likely get better rates if you purchase coverage while your teeth are still in good shape

With this in mind, here are some of Canada’s best dental insurance providers.

1. Manulife Dental Coverage

  • Learn More: manulife.ca
  • Provincial Restrictions: Available in all provinces and territories

Manulife offers several comprehensive dental insurance plans that include coverage for both health and dental. The insurer’s most popular plan is arguably the Flexcare health and dental plan.

The Flexcare plan covers basic and major dental services, including preventive care, fillings, root canals, and orthodontic treatments. It also includes coverage for prescription drugs, vision care, and extended health services. Families of three or more and seniors over age 65 may also receive discounted rates.

The second most popular dental plan offered by Manulife is the FollowMe plan. This guaranteed acceptance plan covers dental expenses when employer-sponsored dental coverage runs out. As with the Flexcare plan, Manulife offers discounted rates for families.

2. Desjardins Health And Dental Insurance

Desjardins Logo
  • Learn More: desjardins.com
  • Provincial Restrictions: Available in all provinces

From life insurance to pet insurance and dental coverage, Desjardins offers a wide range of plans to fit your lifestyle.

Although Desjardins doesn’t offer dental-only plans, they offer healthcare insurance that covers dental health services. Some of the company’s life insurance plans also come with dental care coverage.

Desjardins offers very flexible health and dental insurance. Whether you’re looking for simple, low-cost coverage or you need more comprehensive coverage with higher reimbursement amounts, Desjardins will work with you to create a customized plan.

Families and groups are eligible for discounted rates. However, the drawback of Desjardins health and dental insurance plans is that coverage automatically ends once the policyholder turns 70, which could leave you hanging when you need coverage the most.

3. BCAA Health And Dental Care

  • Learn More: bcaa.com
  • Provincial Restrictions: Only available to residents of B.C. and Yukon

Serving B.C. and Yukon, BCAA offers personal health insurance for as low as $1 per day. Customers can customize plans based on their own needs and have the option to add dental coverage.

Families can receive discounted rates on their health insurance plan. There’s also a very small waiting period, and approved applicants will be covered on the first day of the next month following their application.

All of BCAA’s health insurance plans are underwritten by Manulife, which means that BCAA offers similar terms to Manulife’s FollowMe and Flexcare plans. That being said, BCAA may offer lower rates for B.C. and Yukon residents compared to applying for coverage directly through Manulife.

4. Blue Cross Dental Health Insurance

  • Learn More: pac.bluecross.ca
  • Provincial Restrictions: Available in all provinces and territories

Blue Cross is one of North America’s largest insurance companies and serves clients throughout Canada and the US.

Blue Cross is one of Canada’s few dental insurance providers that offer dental-only plans. However, dental coverage can also be purchased as an add-on to employer-sponsored group insurance plans.

I really like how simple and straightforward Blue Cross dental coverage is. Singles pay $39, couples pay $80, and families pay $139 monthly (although rates change periodically). The plan covers common dental procedures, as well as routine extractions, preventative care, x-rays, and restorative care.

It also covers two yearly dental checkups, so you can ensure that your teeth are in good health. The simplicity of this program makes it a great choice for those who are self-employed or who aren’t part of an employer’s group insurance plan.

5. Canada Life Health And Dental Care

Canada Life Logo
  • Learn More: canadalife.com
  • Provincial Restrictions: Available in all provinces and territories

Canada Life is one of the oldest insurers in the country. Although they’re primarily known for life insurance, they also offer health and dental benefits to those who wish to purchase personal health insurance plans.

You can apply in under twenty minutes and no medical exam is required. You can choose a plan that offers partial or full coverage, depending on your needs. Canada Life Health and Dental insurance can also be bundled with other insurance plans offered by the company, allowing you to save even more.

6. Equitable Life Dental Insurance

  • Learn More: equitable.ca
  • Provincial Restrictions: Available in all provinces and territories

Equitable Life offers combined health and individual dental insurance. Dental benefits include most major restorative services, dental surgery, preventative care, periodontal services, and more.

Like Desjardins, Equitable Life allows policyholders to create customized plans based on the amount of coverage they need. This private health insurance company is generally known for its low rates. However, they don’t disclose any specific policy details on their website, so you must speak with an insurance agent directly if you want a quote.

7. Empire Life Dental Insurance

Empire life insurance Logo
  • Learn More: empire.ca
  • Provincial Restrictions: Available in all provinces and territories

Empire Life currently only offers dental coverage as part of an employer’s group plan. If you’re a small business looking to offer dental care as part of your employee health benefits, then this insurance company is worth looking into.

Unfortunately, Empire Life doesn’t offer any private insurance for individuals, which is why it’s not further up on the list.

8. Alliance Financial Dental And Vision Care

  • Learn More: alliancefinancial.ca
  • Provincial Restrictions: Available in all provinces and territories

Similar to Empire Life, Alliance Financial only offers dental coverage as part of its employee benefits coverage package. Alliance Financial’s group dental insurance benefit covers basic services (preventative care) and medical expenses from other routine procedures, such as fillings and x-rays.

At this time, Alliance Financial doesn’t offer any individual plans, though.

9. GMS Dental Insurance Plan Coverage

  • Learn More: gms.ca
  • Provincial Restrictions: Available in all provinces and territories

Are you looking for a basic plan covering dental procedures ranging from preventative care to orthodontic services? If so, GMS Dental Insurance is a straightforward option offering two private insurance plans; personal and replacement health coverage.

Both plans are dental-only, which is good news if you already have an existing health plan and want additional dental coverage.

The first plan is designed to provide personal coverage for dental treatment for you and your family. It also covers most major dental care, depending on the level of coverage you sign up for.

The second plan is designed to provide replacement coverage when you leave your current employer plan. It offers guaranteed acceptance and doesn’t require a medical exam or answers to medical questions, making for a smooth and seamless transition.

10. Sun Life Dental Insurance

SunLife Logo
  • Learn More: sunlife.ca
  • Provincial Restrictions: Available in all provinces and territories

Sun Life is one of the largest insurers in Canada and operates around the world in Europe, Southeast Asia, and China. Sun Life’s dental insurance is based on the health coverage plan that you choose to enroll with:

  • With the basic plan, you’ll receive 60% for preventative care (up to $500)
  • With the standard plan, you’ll receive up to 70% coverage for preventative care (up to $750)
  • With the enhanced plan, you’ll receive up to 80% coverage for preventative care (up to $750), 50% coverage for restorative care (up to $500), and 60% for orthodontic services (up to $1,500)

Unfortunately, Sun Life doesn’t offer dental coverage on its own. It must be combined with one of Sun Life’s private health insurance plans.

Another downside of Sun Life’s dental insurance add-on is that there are long wait times. You’ll need to wait at least three months to receive coverage for basic preventative care, one year for restorative care coverage, and two years for orthodontic treatments.

If your teeth are in great health, this may be a plan worth considering. However, if you need coverage in the near future, then you’re better off choosing another plan with a shorter waiting period.

11. Green Shield Canada Health And Dental Plans

  • Learn More: greenshield.ca
  • Provincial Restrictions: Available in all provinces and territories

Green Shield Canada isn’t an insurance company itself. Rather, it’s an insurance marketplace tool similar to PolicyMe. Customers are asked to complete a brief questionnaire about the type of dental care coverage they need and their current oral health.

Then, Green Shield Canada will pair them with dental insurance providers that best match their needs. Not sure where to start? Green Shield Canada has insurance advisors on standby, and you can chat with them online or over the phone to get all your insurance-related questions answered.

Due to the competitive nature of insurance marketplaces like Green Shield Canada, you’re more likely to get a good deal than going directly through an insurance company.

12. University of Toronto Dental Insurance

  • Learn More: utsu.ca
  • Provincial Restrictions: Only available to full-time University of Toronto undergrad students

If you’re a full-time undergraduate student enrolled in the University of Toronto, you’ll be eligible to apply for dental and health insurance through the UofT Students’ Union. Unfortunately, this plan is not available to graduates, alumni, or post-graduate students.

However, if you qualify, you’ll likely get a far better rate than most other health and dental insurance companies. If you’re not already covered on your parent’s plan, you should definitely look into UofT’s health and dental insurance packages.

Some of the highlights of this dental plan include:

  • Up to $800 worth of dentist visits are covered per year
  • 70% of exams and x-rays covered
  • 80% coverage for lab tests and extractions
  • Free fluoride and polishing every year
  • 100% coverage for tooth repair or replacement due to accidental damage

Choosing The Right Dental Insurance Plan: Considerations

Now, let’s take a few minutes to talk about how to choose the dental insurance plan that best fits your needs.

Treatments Covered

If you suffer from particular dental issues, you’ll want to ensure that you get a comprehensive coverage plan. For example, some plans may not cover restorative or orthodontic care (or may only cover a menial amount).

On the other hand, if you’re young and have great oral health, you may be able to save money by opting for a less comprehensive plan that primarily covers preventative care and accidental damage.

Monthly Premium

Very few insurers are upfront about the cost of their monthly premiums. This is because most insurers perform a survey and may ask you to undergo a dental exam prior as part of your application process.

Insurance premiums fluctuate based on oral health, age, habits (i.e., smoking, drinking), and dental history.

Before you decide on a single company, I suggest getting quotes from two or three different insurers and comparing the plans. This will allow you to get the most value for your monthly premium.

Waiting Period

Some dental insurance providers offer near-instant coverage that kicks in the month after you sign up (BCAA is a great example of this). Other insurers might require you to wait months or even years before you’re eligible for certain types of dental coverage (such as Sun Life).

Ability To Bundle Health And Dental Plans

You may want to purchase separate dental coverage if you have a pre-existing health insurance plan. However, remember that you can often save on your total insurance costs by bundling private and dental insurance.

Some companies like Manulife, Canada Life, and Desjardins only offer bundles, while companies like GMS and Blue Cross offer dental-only plans.

FAQs About Dental Insurance In Canada

To wrap up, here are a few quick answers to some of Canada’s most commonly asked questions about dental plans.

What Does Dental Insurance Cover?

It depends on your plan. Most plans cover preventative care, such as routine visits, polishing, and bite-wing scans. If you want more comprehensive care for fillings, root canals, extractions, and periodontal services, you’ll typically need to pay more.

Are Braces Covered By Dental Insurance?

If your dental plan includes orthodontic coverage, then a portion of your braces may be eligible for coverage. Just be sure to double-check your coverage and make sure that you’ve surpassed the required waiting period to receive coverage.

Does Health Insurance Cover Dental Care?

No. Health insurance is usually separate from dental insurance. However, the two may be bundled together for a combined health and dental plan.

Conclusion – What’s The Best Dental Insurance Plan In Canada?

These days, dental costs can be astronomical. Dental insurance is the best way to ensure that you don’t have to pay for unexpected dental visits out of pocket.

If you’re looking for a joint health and dental plan, I recommend using Manulife’s Flexcare plan. However, if you’re looking for dental-only, I recommend Blue Cross’s affordable dental plan.

Protecting your teeth is one thing. But will your family be protected if something were to happen to you? Read on to see my overview of Canada’s best life insurance companies!

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Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Wealthawesome.com. Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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