Wellness

3 Ways Preventive Dental Care Benefits Employers and Employees

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Employees don’t understand the value of preventive dental care, reports the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). As younger employees join the workforce, it’s a good time to educate them about the value of preventive dental care, and also remind current workers to schedule yearly or semi-yearly exams. Consider three ways preventive dental care benefits employers and employees.

1. Detects oral health problems early – Employees may put off going to the dentist because they don’t see the value of regular dental appointments, and how an oral exam can catch problems at an early stage, potentially reducing health care costs. Employers should be proactive in supporting preventive dental care for employees. Here are four suggestions:

  • Provide dental insurance benefits that cover preventive care at 100 percent, with a minimum of two cleanings each year. And don’t count the cost of preventive care toward the annual maximum.
  • Explain dental coverage to employees. SHRM reports that 25 percent of employees with dental insurance indicate they haven’t been to the dentist in the past year due to cost. Many employees say they don’t understand what’s covered. Provide benefits information and diagrams showing employees their dental insurance coverage amounts and the cost savings of preventive dental care.
  • Educate employees on how they can save money by using in-network vs. out-of-network dentists. Throughout the year, remind employees about the importance of daily dental care. For example, share this blog explaining six ways employees can take better care of their teeth.
  • Encourage employees to schedule dental appointments once or twice a year for a cleaning and exam.

2. Increases employee productivityOne in four American adults have untreated tooth decay. Due to oral pain, adults often leave work early or call in sick. But, preventive dental exams can help keep oral health pain and problems under control. Employees will be healthier, happier and more productive at work.

3. Lowers medical and insurance costs – Employers and employees save money with preventive dental coverage. Seeing the dentist regularly helps catch changes in oral health, such as tooth decay and diseases, and detect signs of serious medical conditions. Employees can spend less on dental care upfront and avoid costly medical tests and procedures down the road. In turn, employers can save money when renewing health insurance plans because their employees are healthier.

Sources:
Society for Human Resource Management
Safety + Health magazine

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