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Insights & advice

What is major restorative dentalcare?

June, 2022 – 15 min read

Key takeaways

  • Major dental procedures can be expensive

  • Major dental isn’t covered for most people by their government plan

  • You can get major dental coverage through dental insurance, offered by your workplace plan or an individual plan 

  • You can apply for health insurance, including major dental insurance, in 15 minutes  

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What is major restorative dentalcare?

You’ll often see this term used – alongside “basic” dentalcare - when you’re reading through a health and dental insurance policy.

Basic dentalcare generally means routine services like checkups, cleanings or fillings.

Major dentalcare (short for major restorative dentalcare) generally refers to more extensive (and expensive) procedures.

What is considered major restorative dentalcare?

Generally, major dental refers to procedures such as: 

  • Dental crowns

    A tooth-shaped cap that’s placed on top of a damaged tooth

  • Bridges

    A false tooth or teeth put in place between 1 or 2 crowns

  • Dentures

    False teeth that can replace some or all of your natural ones

  • Some plans consider root canals and wisdom teeth removal as part of major dental care. Other plans, like Canada Life’s Freedom to Choose™ health and dental insurance, actually include those as part of routine dental care.

Will insurance cover major restorative dentalcare?

This will depend on your plan, which may or may not include basic dentalcare, let alone major dental. Currently, it is not covered by most people’s government health insurance.  

How can dental insurance help me pay for major restorative dentalcare?

In order to avoid a hefty out-of-pocket bill, many Canadians have additional dental coverage, often through their workplace benefits or an individual plan.

For instance, major restorative dentalcare is part of two of Canada Life’s individual health and dental insurance plan (Guaranteed elite and Select elite) and can be added as extra coverage to any of the others.

If you have the Select plus plan with major dental, here’s how much it could save you compared to paying out-of-pocket. This assumes any deductible has been met first.


Without major dental coverage  With Select plus with major dental 
Crown $642  $321 (50% reimbursement) 

As you can see, dental insurance can make a significant impact to how much you pay out of pocket for a major dental procedure, many of which happen suddenly and require immediate attention.  

  • Many plans – including Canada Life’s dental insurance – have a “waiting period” before you can use dental benefits. This means you may have to wait a few months from the time you first get insurance coverage before you can make a claim, although there are situations where this can be waived, like if you come straight off another plan.