Volume 10 • 2023 • Issue 1

Support for federal investment in dental care since August 2022 survey Intend to use the new dental benefit Abacus Survey Focuses on People Eligible for CDB Program In a public opinion survey conducted in fall 2022 on behalf of CDA, Abacus Data looked at how Canadians reacted to the announcement of theCanadianDental Benefit program(CDB), especially parents of children under age 12 with household incomes less than $90,000, the segment of the Canadian population targeted in phase one of the CDB initiative. The survey also included some pandemic-related questions for tracking and comparison purposes. But this time around, Abacus Data oversampled Canadian parents of children under age 12 who are eligible for the CDB to get a better sense of the public’s reaction to the program. Almost 3,500 people were surveyed in fall 2022, focusing on the proposed federal investments in dental care, details on dental insurance and additional dental coverage, trends in Canadians’ behaviours towards dentistry, and on the impact of inflation (particularly on families with children under age 12) and healthy eating habits. Even though 63% of Canadians have heard about a proposed federal government investment in enhancing access to dental care (up 7% points from August), less than half of Canadians (49%) had heard of its first phase. Only 50% of families who meet program criteria had heard about the CDB program or think they have. • Support for the CDB program after details are described (e.g., targeting households with less than $90k household income, don’t currently have a dental plan, etc.) dropped by 7% points, to 70% of the Canadian public. • After hearing new details about the first phase of the proposed federal investment in dental care, slightly fewer Canadians (57%) support the specific approach the federal government has taken with the CDB. • Parents with children under 12 in households earning less than $90,000 per year have developed a broader support of the initiative (75%). After hearing about the CDB program criteria and details, 70% of Canadians whose families meet those requirements say they are planning to apply to receive the dental benefit for their children. • 68% say they would be more likely to bring their children to the dentist because of the CDB. • 7 in 10 think this first phase of the proposed program will help relieve some financial pressure on annual dental expenses for their children. • Almost 75% feel that the proposed plan is enough to help families in Canada access dental care and most (83%) feel the proposed federal investment will lead to improved access to dental care. 14 | 2023 | Issue 1 News and Events