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Does Dental Insurance Cover Orthodontics in Ontario?

If you’re considering orthodontic treatment in Ontario, one of the key questions that might be on your mind is whether dental insurance covers orthodontics in this province.

The short answer is yes, dental insurance can help offset the costs of orthodontic treatment. However, the details can be a bit more complex, and not everyone is familiar with the ins and outs of dental coverage in Ontario.

Whether you’re new to the province or simply looking for more information, this page will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of how dental insurance works for orthodontics in Ontario.

Are Orthodontics Covered?

Yes, the good news is that orthodontic treatment is covered by dental insurance plans in Ontario.

Orthodontics generally falls under “major dental procedures” or “orthodontic care,” which includes treatments like braces or Invisalign.

While coverage is available, it’s essential to understand what’s covered, to what extent, and how the process works.

What’s Covered?

Dental insurance plans in Ontario vary in terms of coverage, so it’s crucial to review the specifics of your plan.

Generally, dental insurance covers a portion of orthodontic treatment costs, but it’s rare for insurance to cover the entire expense. The coverage percentage typically ranges from 50% to 80% of the treatment cost, depending on your plan.

Here’s a more detailed look at these aspects:

Types of Treatments Covered

Traditional Braces: Most insurance plans will cover the cost of traditional metal braces, a common and effective method for correcting dental alignment issues.

Ceramic Braces: These are similar to traditional braces but use clear or tooth-coloured brackets for a less noticeable appearance. Coverage for ceramic braces can vary, as they are often more expensive than metal braces.

Lingual Braces: Placed behind the teeth, lingual braces are less visible but more expensive. Not all insurance plans may cover them.

Invisalign and Clear Aligners: These newer treatments are popular for their aesthetic and comfort advantages but can be less frequently covered or covered at a lower rate than traditional braces.

Extent of Coverage

Percentage of Treatment Cost: Insurance typically covers a certain percentage of the orthodontic treatment cost. This can range from 50% to 80%, depending on the plan.

Cap on Amount: There is often a cap or maximum amount that the insurance will pay for orthodontic treatment. This cap can be set as a lifetime maximum or an annual limit.

Deductibles and Co-pays: Some plans require you to pay a deductible before coverage starts. Additionally, co-pays may apply where you are responsible for a portion of the cost at each visit.

Age Restrictions: Many insurance plans have age restrictions, primarily covering treatments for children and teenagers. Coverage for adult orthodontics might be limited or not included.

Waiting Periods: Some plans have waiting periods before you can avail of orthodontic coverage, especially if the insurance is newly acquired.

Coverage Limitations and Exclusions

Cosmetic Orthodontics: If the treatment is deemed purely cosmetic and not medically necessary, it may not be covered.

Pre-Existing Conditions: Treatments for orthodontic issues that existed before acquiring the insurance might not be covered.

Retreatment: If you’re seeking orthodontic treatment for a second time (such as reapplying braces), some insurance plans might not cover it.

How Does Ontario Dental Insurance/Coverage Work?

Dental insurance in Ontario usually operates as a reimbursement system. Here’s how it generally works:

Consultation: Your orthodontist will conduct an initial consultation to assess your orthodontic needs and develop a treatment plan.

Treatment Estimate: Your orthodontist will provide you with a treatment plan and estimated costs. You can then submit this estimate to your dental insurance provider for approval.

Pre-authorization: It’s advisable to get pre-authorization for orthodontic treatment from your insurance provider. This step ensures that you understand your coverage and that your treatment plan aligns with your insurance benefits.

Treatment Commencement: Once you have pre-authorization, you can begin your orthodontic treatment. You’ll typically need to pay for the treatment upfront and then seek reimbursement from your insurance company.

Claim Submission: After completing a phase of your treatment or when it’s time for a reimbursement claim, you’ll submit your orthodontic receipts and invoices to your insurance provider for reimbursement.

Reimbursement: Your insurance provider will process your claim and reimburse you according to your coverage percentage and the maximum lifetime benefit.

What to Expect With Insurance Claims?

Regarding orthodontic coverage in Ontario, it’s essential to manage your expectations. Dental insurance can significantly reduce the financial burden of orthodontic treatment, but it may not cover all costs. Coverage percentages and maximum benefit amounts vary among insurance plans.

Additionally, waiting periods may occur before you can access orthodontic coverage, and certain procedures or orthodontic appliances may not be covered. It’s crucial to thoroughly review your policy and discuss any questions or concerns with your insurance provider.

Pay Upfront vs. Direct Billing Dental Insurance Coverage

It’s important to note that, in most cases, you will need to pay for your orthodontic treatment upfront and then seek reimbursement from your insurance provider. This means you should be prepared to cover the initial costs and wait for your insurance company to process your claims.

However, some dental offices may offer direct billing to insurance companies, which can simplify the process for you. In this scenario, the dental office submits the claims on your behalf, and you are only responsible for paying the portion of the cost not covered by your insurance. Be sure to check with your orthodontist if they offer direct billing services.

Where Do You Get Dental Coverage From?

Dental insurance coverage in Ontario can be obtained through different sources:

Workplace Coverage

Many employers offer dental insurance as part of their employee benefits package. If you have dental coverage through your workplace, it’s essential to understand the specifics of your plan, including coverage percentages, maximum benefits, and any waiting periods.

Self-Purchased Insurance Coverage

If you don’t have dental insurance through your workplace, you have the option to purchase coverage independently. There are various dental insurance providers in Ontario, each offering different plans with varying levels of coverage. You can choose a plan that suits your needs and budget.

Get Your Free Consultation at Unionville Orthodontics

At Unionville Orthodontics, we understand that navigating dental insurance coverage for orthodontics can be confusing. That’s why we offer a free consultation to our patients.

During this consultation, you can discuss your orthodontic needs, treatment options, and any questions or concerns you have about insurance coverage. We’re here to assist you in understanding your benefits and making the most of your dental insurance.


If you have any questions about dental insurance coverage for orthodontics in Ontario or if you’re ready to schedule your free consultation with Unionville Orthodontics, please feel free to reach out to us.

We’re here to help you achieve the smile you deserve, with the support of your dental insurance coverage. Don’t hesitate to contact us today!

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