Nova Scotia Expands Pediatric Dental Coverage

Dentistry Today


The government of Nova Scotia is expanding dental coverage for young residents of the province through its Children’s Oral Health Program. All children age 14 and younger now will be eligible for molar sealants and an annual fluoride treatment. Children at high risk for developing cavities will be eligible for a second annual fluoride treatment. 

“Dental care is an important part of our overall health and should start at an early age,” said health and wellness minister Randy Delorey. “The expanded services are focused on preventive care to get ahead of dental issues before they start.”

Previously, only children with cavities were eligible for an annual fluoride treatment, and only those with deep molar grooves were eligible for sealants. The expanded services are part of an agreement between the province and the Nova Scotia Dental Association, which is retroactive to April 1, 2018.

The agreement also increases the fees dentists earn on Nova Scotia’s Medical Services Insurance dental programs, including the Children’s Oral Health Program, by 5%. These changes will cost the province $921,000 a year, in addition to the $10.2 million invested in these programs annually.

“An increase in preventive services for children means more children will be eligible to receive more of the preventive care they need,” said Nova Scotia Dental Association president Dr. Nada Haidar.

The Children’s Oral Health Program is a universal program that covers basic dental care. Children with private insurance coverage use their private coverage first before government coverage is accessed. Last year, more than 56,000 children accessed the program.

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