Dental coverage: more than healthy teeth and gums

July 11, 2019

​Offering dental coverage to your employees not only gives them access to essential preventive care and possible early detection of serious medical conditions, it can also boost productivity and help them save money.

More than $45 billion is lost in productivity each year due to emergency dental care, according to the Centers for Disease Control. This is not surprising when you consider that nearly 50 million working adults have not seen a dentist in over two years.

Fortunately, employees with access to dental benefits through their employer are twice as likely to visit the dentist at least once a year. Routine dental care is important to overall well-being, as healthy teeth and gums can help prevent certain health risks, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, while regular dental exams can lead to early detection of potentially serious medical conditions. The Academy of General Dentistry reports that more than 90 percent of systemic diseases produce oral signs and symptoms, which may be noticeable to a dentist long before they get to a more advanced stage.

Access to dental coverage can also lower the overall cost of dental services for employees and their families, since regular exams and preventive care reduce the likelihood and cost of major services, such as fillings, crowns, root canals, and oral surgery.

Offer dental coverage

If you do not currently offer dental coverage, learn more about this benefit and consider offering it to your employees in 2020. Your Employer Agreement will be available for updating with benefits selections for 2020 beginning July 15 through October 11, 2019, on Benefits Connect.

You may offer dental coverage to any employee — regardless of the number of regularly scheduled work hours. Employers may, but are not required to, contribute toward the cost of dental coverage.

If you have questions about dental coverage or selecting benefits for your employees, call the Board of Pensions at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN).

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Dental Benefits: A bridge to Oral Health & Wellness, The Guardian Workplace Benefits Study: Fifth Annual, 2017.