Dental Insurance

Last updated: September 7, 2022

Is dental insurance the same as health insurance?

At Sun Life, our personal health insurance products come with dental coverage. You can get partial or full coverage for all types of dental procedures. This will help keep you from having to dip into your savings or emergency fund to cover your dental expenses. It’s a simple way to help ensure you have access to quality dental care when you need it.

Depending on the plan you choose (Basic, Standard or Enhanced), you can get coverage for dental issues such as:  

Teeth cleanings

Dental x-rays and exams

Orthodontics (braces)

Bridges, dentures and crowns 

How does it work?

When you get a personal health insurance plan from Sun Life, you get to choose between three plans: Basic, Standard and Enhanced. 

What does the basic plan offer?

A basic plan comes with coverage for medical needs and preventive dental care. 

What does preventive dental care mean? This includes: 

  • dental exams and diagnosis,
  • tests, x-rays, 
  • lab exams, 
  • fillings, 
  • scaling, and 
  • extractions. 

What does the standard plan offer?

With the standard plan, you’ll have medical coverage and the option to add dental insurance to your plan. When you opt-in for dental insurance, you’ll get more of your preventive dental-care expenses reimbursed than the basic plan. 

What does the enhanced plan offer?

With the enhanced plan, you’ll have medical coverage and the option to add dental insurance to your plan. An enhanced plan offers even more reimbursement for preventive dental care than the basic and standard plans. Plus, you’ll get coverage for restorative dental care and orthodontics. 

What does restorative dental care mean? This includes:

  • endodontics (dental pulp),
  • periodontics (gums),
  • oral surgery,
  • crowns,
  • onlays,
  • bridges, 
  • dentures and repairs.  

How much dental coverage can you get?

Basic plan 

You’ll get 60% coverage for preventive dental care costs, up to a yearly maximum of $500.1  

Standard plan

Optional dental coverage of 70% coverage for preventive dental care costs, up to a yearly maximum of $750.1

Enhanced plan

Optional dental coverage of 80% for preventive dental care costs , up to a yearly maximum of $750.1

Plus 50% coverage for major restorative dental care, up to a yearly maximum of $500.2

And, you’ll have 60% coverage for orthodontic services, up to a lifetime maximum of $1,500.3    

 1 Coverage starts after just 3 months. Your waiting period begins on the effective date of your coverage, see your policy for details.

2 This coverage is available after a 1 year waiting period.

3 This coverage is available after a 2-year waiting period. 

Do you need personal health insurance to have dental insurance?

Yes, dental insurance is included in a basic personal health insurance plan. It’s also an optional addition to a standard or enhanced personal health insurance plan.  

With personal health insurance, you’ll get reimbursed for eligible health expenses. This includes dental, medical and other health-care expenses that aren’t fully covered (or covered at all) by your provincial or territorial healthcare plan. These can include :

  • prescription drugs to treat a chronic or serious health condition, and
  • practitioners like physiotherapists to promote wellness or help with injury recovery.

Learn more about personal health insurance.

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When will your dental coverage start?

It depends on your personal health insurance plan.  

If you’re approved for:  

  • a basic personal health insurance plan, you’ll get 60% coverage for preventive dental care after just 3 months.  
  • standard personal health insurance plan, you’ll get 70% coverage for preventive dental care after just 3 months.  
  • an enhanced personal health insurance plan, you’ll get 80% coverage for preventive dental care after just 3 months. You’ll also get 50% coverage for major restorative dental care after a 1-year waiting period. And, you’ll get 60% coverage for orthodontic services after a 2-year waiting period.  

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How do you know if you need dental insurance?

Everyone needs to go to the dentist on occasion. And, depending on how much dental work you need, the bill can put a dent in your finances.  That’s why it’s important to have enough coverage to help keep the cost of dental care at bay.  

It’s also very helpful to have your own dental coverage in case you lose your employee health benefits or don’t have access to a health insurance plan through an employer. 

For example, maybe you’re self-employed or a contract worker. Or maybe you’re about to retire, in which case you might lose your employee health benefits. In these situations, it helps to have your own coverage. This way, you won’t get stuck paying out-of-pocket for all your medical and dental expenses.   

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Are there other types of health insurance you may need?

There are three other types of health insurance to consider:  

  1. Disability insurancewhich replaces part of your income if you can’t work. 
  2. Critical illness insurancewhich provides a lump-sum benefit if you’re diagnosed with a covered illness. 
  3. Long-term care insurancewhich covers the cost of your care when you can’t perform two or more activities of daily living. Or, it can cover the cost of ongoing supervision because your cognitive abilities have declined due to age. 

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Get dental insurance

3 ways to buy:

  • Apply online

    You can find a new plan in 3 easy steps:

    1. Tell us about yourself.

    2. Select your coverage.

    3. Get a quote.

    Get Started

  • Talk to an advisor to buy insurance

    Not sure what type of insurance you need? A Sun Life advisor can help you figure it out and get you a customized quote.

  • Give us a call

    Our team of licensed financial services consultants (registered as financial security advisors in Quebec) can assess your coverage needs and recommend solutions.


    Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. ET

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Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada is the insurer, and is a member of the Sun Life group of companies. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada is licensed to offer life and health insurance in all jurisdictions in Canada.