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The Great-West Life Assurance Company, London Life Insurance Company and The Canada Life Assurance Company have become one company – The Canada Life Assurance Company. Discover the new Canada Life

The Great-West Life Assurance Company, London Life Insurance Company and The Canada Life Assurance Company have become one company – The Canada Life Assurance Company. Discover the new Canada Life

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How much does dental cleaning cost in Canada?

Key takeaways

  • Dental cleaning is an important part of routine oral care
  • Dental cleaning can be pricey, and may not be covered by government healthcare for many Canadians
  • A health and dental insurance plan can help cover those out-of-pocket costs

What is dental cleaning? 

This is a routine dental treatment where plaque and tartar are removed from your teeth by a dental hygienist. Dental cleaning shouldn’t be confused with deep cleaning, which can involve “scaling,” when plaque is removed from above the gums as well. 

Why is dental cleaning important?

Dental cleaning is an essential part of maintaining your overall oral hygiene. According to the Canadian Dental Association, getting your teeth cleaned by a professional on a regular basis can ward off things like bad breath, tooth decay and periodontal disease, which when left untreated has been linked to serious health issues like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

How much does dental cleaning cost in Canada?

This varies from dentist to dentist, but on average you’re looking at between $150 to $250 for a dental cleaning in Canada. It’s suggested you get a cleaning every 6 to 9 months.

While there are some exceptions, dental care is not covered by government health insurance for many Canadians. This means that unless you fall into groups covered by the federal programs like the Canada Dental Benefit, you may be responsible for this cost out-of-pocket.

If you’re fortunate enough to have workplace benefits, it may also be covered through your group plan.

What is a fee guide?

Established by the dental association in each province, this lays out the general amount a dentist can charge for various procedures. While a dentist is not restricted to charging based on the fee guide, it provides a baseline and is often what insurance will cover.

In practice, this can play out something like this: The fee guide says the cost of polishing should be $38.76. Because round numbers might be used, a dentist could decide to charge $40 for this.

When you go to make a claim, this means that your insurance will base their reimbursement on the $38.76, not the $40 you were charged.

Can insurance help with the cost of dental cleaning?

Cost is one of the biggest reasons people avoid going to the dentist, a decision which can have long-term consequences for your oral health.

A health and dental insurance plan can be a great way to help mitigate some of those costs. Depending on your coverage, your plan could cover some or all of your out-of-pocket costs.

For example, Canada Life’s Freedom To Choose health and dental insurance popular Select Plus plan covers 80 percent of the cost of routine dental services – like cleaning – up to a maximum of $750 a year.

Let’s say you have a cleaning in February, and a second one in September, and each of those two cleanings cost $200. With dental coverage, this this means your out-of-pocket cost for this would only be $80 for $400 worth of essential oral care. This assumes that your dentist is charging according to the current fee guide.

What's next?

  • If you have workplace benefits, check to see if dental cleaning is covered by your plan. You can do this by referencing your employee booklet, or you may be able to ask your dental clinic to get an estimate on your behalf.
  • If you don’t have dental insurance or dental coverage through government healthcare, consider an individual plan like those offered by Canada Life.
  • Book an appointment with your dentist to get those teeth cleaned.

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