Offering Voluntary Dental Benefits is Good for Business

By Karyn Glogowski, Vice President, Sales, Delta Dental of Illinois 

NAPERVILLE, Ill. September 25, 2018 – Poor dental health may come at a large cost to your employees and your company. More than 90 million work hours are lost in the U.S. because of emergency or unplanned dental visits – and adults with poor oral health are more likely to miss work.1

In fact, nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of employed Illinoisans have missed work in the past year due to an unplanned oral health issue – missing, on average, five days of work.2  

There’s a good chance that poor dental health can negatively impact your bottom line and employee productivity – costs you can curb by offering voluntary dental benefits. Here are a few reasons why offering voluntary dental benefits is good for your business.

Voluntary coverage helps you attract and retain employees. A great benefits package can help a company recruit top talent and retain high-performing employees. Voluntary benefits are becoming increasingly important to organizations: Only 5 percent of employers say voluntary benefits have little to no importance for a company’s value proposition – compared to 41 percent just five years ago.3

Voluntary dental plans help keep your employees healthy. Illinois adults with dental coverage are 58 percent more likely to visit the dentist once a year compared to those without dental benefits.4 Regular check-ups help identify and prevent more comprehensive and often time-intensive oral health treatment. It can also spot serious medical issues: More than 120 signs and symptoms of disease, including oral cancer, can be spotted during regular dental exams.5, 6 Catching health issues early helps save costs – and can even find potentially serious problems before they impact your employee’s overall health.

Voluntary dental plans can help avoid lost productivity. Preventive care, such as regular dental checkups and exams, helps keep your employees from missing additional work to treat mouth troubles. It also helps employees avoid unnecessary stress and time management issues.

Voluntary dental coverage is a win-win for employers and employees. According to the National Association of Dental Plans, nearly two-thirds (66 percent) of people feel it’s very important that their employer offers dental coverage.7 Offering voluntary dental coverage gives employees the benefits they want while limiting an employer’s financial obligation. Employees also get the advantage of group rates. This can help employees save money compared to acquiring individual or family dental coverage on their own.

Simply put, employees expect a comprehensive benefits package that helps keep them healthy – and that includes dental coverage. Providing access to a voluntary dental plan keeps your employees happy – and it can help keep your business healthy, too.


1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hours Lost to Planned and Unplanned Dental Visits Among U.S. Adults, 2018

2 Delta Dental Plans Association, Adult’s Oral Health and Well-Being Survey: Illinois, 2018

3 Willis Towers Watson, Emerging Trends: Voluntary Benefits and Services Survey, 2018

4 Delta Dental of Illinois, Oral Health and Well-Being Survey, 2018

5 U.S. Surgeon General Report on Oral Health, Chapter 3: Diseases and Disorders, 2000

6 World Health Organization, Application of the International Classification of Diseases to Dentistry and Stomatology: ICD-DA, 1995

7 National Association of Dental Plans, Survey of Consumers: Dental Health and Benefits, 2017