With salary, medical insurance, and retirement plans taking top billing in compensation packages, dental coverage can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. But there are a number of reasons improving the oral health of your employees can have a huge impact on your company’s well-being.
The first is morale. A survey from the American Dental Association (ADA) showed 85 percent of Americans believe the health of their mouth is very or extremely important to their overall health1, but only 42 percent visit the dentist as often as they’d like. Dental care has the highest level of cost barriers compared to other services, and for every person without medical insurance, almost two don’t have dental coverage.2 This gap between what employees want for themselves and what they think they can afford can be a serious stressor – one that the right dental coverage can often eliminate.
The next reason is productivity. Over 164 million work hours are lost every year due to dental disease2. Without dental coverage, employees may delay visiting the dentist, which means small oral health issues can become the kind of problems that keep people out of work altogether. Maybe that’s why $1.9 billion is spent on emergency room visits for dental conditions each year3. With coverage, employees are more likely to get dental care before problems arise, especially if that coverage incentivizes regular preventive checkups.
Finally, there’s general health. While businesses often keep dental and medical coverage separate, our bodies draw no distinction between oral health and overall health. In fact, if left untreated, gum disease can lead to more serious conditions like heart disease4 that will have a much larger negative impact on your people and your company than the occasional toothache.
So if you’re fortunate enough to be offering dental coverage, take the next step and make sure everyone’s using it. If not, then finding affordable coverage can keep your employees and your balance sheet healthier than ever.
You’ll find even more reasons dental health is no small thing for your business when you download a free, fact-packed infographic from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. It can start you on the path to integrating your medical and dental benefits, so your costs stay in check and your employees keep flashing those pearly whites.
1 ADA News, “Survey: More Americans want to visit the dentist.” 2018
2 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS]. “Oral Health in America.”
3 The Washington Post, “A dental visit can cost you, but a delay can hurt your teeth and budget even more.”
4 Beukers, Nicky, van der Heijden , Geert, et al. Periodontitis is an independent risk indicator for atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases among 60,174 participants in a large dental school in the Netherlands. J Epidemiol Community Health, 2017.