Employee Wellness and Dental Benefits Matter

Posted on June 1, 2015 in Dental benefit information

Dental benefits and employee wellness go hand in hand. Most dental plans promote preventive care and good oral health habits, which improve an employee's overall health. By investing in employee health through offering dental coverage and other health benefits, companies can improve employee productivity and reduce costs associated with health care.

Dental insurance is the third most requested employee benefit, behind medical insurance and retirement plans.1 More than 70 percent of employees think dental coverage is an important part of a benefits package, 2 and offering dental benefits may tip the scales when a prospective employee is trying to decide among company offers. In addition to being a great recruiting and retention tool, there are many advantages dental insurance can provide your business and employees.

Reduce lost work hours
Each year, more than 164 million work hours are lost because of dental problems, 3 so employees' dental health affects your business. Preventive dental exams, provided through dental insurance, can help reduce lost productivity hours by identifying and treating problems earlier and, in some cases, reversing the problem before they become larger issues requiring time off work.

Have healthier employees
Studies show that 81 percent of people with dental benefits visit the dentist at least twice a year, while only 34 percent of people without dental benefits visit the dentist twice a year.4 Dental visits can help prevent, detect and manage oral health diseases. Therefore, you are most likely to have healthier employees who are able to contribute more when they are at work, adding to your bottom line.

Keep medical costs down
Dental insurance that promotes preventive oral health habits may help keep medical insurance costs down. Regular oral health exams can help detect significant medical conditions before they become serious. In fact, more than 75 percent of oral cancers and5 more than 120 diseases can be detected in and around the mouth and jaw, 6 including diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease. Dental professionals can help discover health issues early, which can help save on medical costs in the future.

Dental insurance helps your employees save money
Using in-network dentists saves members about 30 percent off standard industry fees. In addition, Delta Dental of Illinois' dental plans cover 100 percent of preventive care, which can minimize the need for more costly dental treatments in the future. In fact, every $1 spent on prevention saves $4 in treatment.

Oral health is closely linked with overall health. Providing dental benefits not only attracts the best talent, but it also ensures that your employees remain healthy and provide your company with the best they have to offer.

LIMRA, 2009
The Long Group and Delta Dental Plans Association, 2008.
American Dental Education Association, 2001
The Long Group Retail Dental Insurance Consumer Acceptance Survey, June 2009
CDC, Fact Sheet: “Preventing Dental Cavities,” 2002.
S. Bricker, R. Langlias and C. Miller, “Oral Diagnosis, Oral Medicine and Treatment Planning,” 1994