Navigating Benefits

Is Dental Insurance Worth It?

Posted by February 2, 2017

The law requires most businesses to provide health insurance for their employees, and with good reason. We never know what lies in store for us, and good medical insurance gives us confidence that we’ll receive the treatment and financial protection we need, whatever happens.

But is dental insurance worth it? It’s not required by law, so some businesses forgo it. However, there are some powerful reasons why dental insurance should be included in your benefits package and why your employees should sign up for and use the plan.

Your Oral Health Impacts Your Overall Wellness

You probably already focus on keeping your teeth healthy with regular dentist visits and cleanings, but regular brushing and flossing doesn’t just protect your teeth, it protects your whole body. Research has demonstrated links between gum disease and other health problems, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Premature birth

By taking good care of your teeth and taking advantage of the benefits offered by your dental plan, not only can you maintain your oral health, but you can reduce your risk of developing other serious conditions.

Regular Dental Care Can Save You Money

Many dental insurance plans promote routine preventive care (such as checkups and cleanings). Regular preventive care can help you save money in the long run by diagnosing and treating any problems before they require more costly procedures, such as a root canal or periodontal work.

Recent research also suggests that treating gum disease in patients with other chronic illnesses (including stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes) can result in significantly reduced medical costs and hospital admissions.

Maintain Employee Productivity

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that employed adults miss more than 164 million hours of work per year on account of dental problems and dental visits. Granted, employees with dental insurance who receive regular dental care may need to take some time off work for routine office visits, but an hour or so every six months could save an employee from having to take even more time off to treat a serious dental condition.

In fact, customer service employees miss two to four times as much work as professionals or executives on account of dental problems. That’s likely due to not having dental insurance and being unable to afford regular care. If you want your employees at work, healthy teeth help make that possible.

Attract Great Employees

As an employer, you want to hire the best people, but the best people often have options. A recent survey found that only about 45 percent of companies offer dental insurance, which means that offering this attractive benefit gives you a chance to stand out. On the flip side, if your competitors offer it and you don’t, you run the risk of losing great candidates.

The American Dental Association reminds businesses to look towards the needs of their employees when choosing dental insurance. Some of the questions they suggest asking about your plan are:

  • Will employees retain the freedom to choose their own dentists?
  • Is the type of treatment determined by the patient and the dentist?
  • Does the plan cover diagnostic, preventive and emergency services?
  • Will it cover preventive services such as sealants and fluoride treatments, which may save patients money in the future?

So, is dental insurance worth it? The answer is: yes. Dental insurance is important for your employees’ oral health and overall wellness and may save them money in the long run. At the same time, for an employer, dental insurance is a powerful employee recruitment and retention tool. To ensure everyone gets the most out of your dental insurance, make sure you choose a plan that meets your employees’ needs; not only will your employees be happy and healthy, but your business will run more smoothly as a result.

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