Benefits administrator blog from Delta Dental

Category: Resources (Page 1 of 4)

Discover useful resources to help you support your employees.

Take the mystery out of dental expenses with the Cost Estimator

Your employees are busy enough, so trying to figure out how to budget their dental care shouldn’t become a second job. That’s why we created the Cost Estimator, a tool available for desktop and mobile that your employees can use to estimate quickly and easily what their next dental visit will cost.

What’s more, the Cost Estimator has just been refreshed with a new, accessible and mobile-optimized design.

How can the Cost Estimator can help my employees?

The Cost Estimator provides employees with a personalized estimate (based on the fee schedule from the last dentist from whom they received service) for an entire dental visit with a specific dentist. It calculates employees’ out-of-pocket costs based on their current benefits. Information is updated daily, so your employees can always count on getting an accurate cost estimate.

This versatile and easy-to-use tool offers employees a variety of useful features and information to help them make the most of their benefits and helps them become better informed consumers.

In the tool, employees can choose from a list of common dental procedures ― they can even specify which tooth needs treatment or what type of filling they’d prefer! After they select their procedure, the Cost Estimator calculates their estimated out-of-pocket cost. The tool subtracts both the network savings and the portion the plan pays.

Other tasks your employees can perform with the Cost Estimator include:

  • Adding procedures. If employees need to add services such as a cleaning or x‑rays to their visit, they can add them to their estimate to get the total cost of the visit.
  • Comparing dentists. Employees might be curious to see if they’d save by switching to another dentist. The Cost Estimator lets them compare up to five in-network dentists to find the best deal.
  • Selecting plan members. Employees can get cost estimates for anyone on their plan, such as spouses and children.
  • Reviewing benefits usage. Employees can access the benefits activity and history for everyone on their plan, and can also review their plan’s maximums, deductibles and out-of-pocket limits.

How can the Cost Estimator help my bottom line?

The Cost Estimator provides members with transparency about their out-of-pocket costs. More cost transparency can mean fewer questions and less confusion about the value of visiting an in-network dentist. By showing the substantial cost differences between in-network and out-of-network dentist visits, the tool encourages in-network utilization — which can help members save and may help lower your group’s dental plan costs.

Is the Cost Estimator available to my group?

Yes! All Delta Dental PPO™ and Delta Dental Premier® groups are eligible to sign up for the Cost Estimator. Talk to your Sales contact to find out how to add this service to your plan.

DeltaCare® USA members receive a plan booklet with their copayments for covered services, so this tool isn’t necessary for DeltaCare USA plans.

To access the Cost Estimator, employees simply click Plan ahead for a visit from the member portal. PPO and Premier members can also access a more limited version of the Cost Estimator through the Delta Dental mobile app, which features in- and out-of-network fees.


With the Cost Estimator, your employees can be confident not only about staying within their budgets, but also that they’re getting the best deal for themselves and their families. Be sure your employees don’t miss out on this valuable resource.

Get comprehensive utilization and health risk reports for your group

How do you know which dental benefits enrollees actually use and need? The true value of a dental benefit plan can depend on how much employees utilize their plan and which benefits they’re using. With Your Dental Health Summary, you can get these insights and more.

How are your employees using their dental benefits?

Your Dental Health Summary is a comprehensive report that helps you evaluate your enrolled employees’ utilization, oral health and risk status. The report highlights your group’s healthy behaviors and helps identify risk factors like the percentage of enrolled employees that had fillings, root canals or gum treatment. You can examine utilization and risk status indicators over time and compare your enrolled member population to benchmarks. Using this data, you can assess whether intervention, education or better patient habits could improve risk status.

What’s in the report?

When you open Your Dental Health Summary, you’ll see information about:

  • Your employees’ dental benefits utilization, including risk factors and healthy behaviors. See how your employees compare to benchmarks for taking advantage of diagnostic and preventive services. You can also review health indicators for employees at high risk for dental disease, with utilization patterns compared to benchmarks.
  • Your employees’ current oral health risk status compared to benchmarks. You’ll get risk categories for your entire group of enrolled employees, including new members, high-risk employees and employees with no dentist visits. You’ll also get a detailed breakdown of each category by age.
  • Your group’s oral health progress compared to previous years. Track the progress of your high-risk and low-risk employees and you’ll see whether your employees’ oral health has improved or declined and how many visited the dentist.

But what if you don’t know much about dental health? Your Dental Health Summary contains a guide to best practices for good oral health and how to support healthy habits. As you receive information about your employee’s plan usage, you’ll learn how to help high-risk employees and encourage dentist visits.

How do I get the report?

Your Dental Health Summary reports are available for groups with at least 500 primary enrollees. Because the reports track dental health trends over a period of several years, your group must have been effective with Delta Dental for at least two full years before you can receive your first report.

A report is generated each month but trends are tracked on an annual basis, so talk to your Sales Account Executive to discuss how often you’d like to receive the report. Reports are always delivered via email. Once you receive your report, Delta Dental’s team will also set up a meeting with you to walk you through the numbers, help you understand the data and answer any questions you have.


Making choices about your benefits package can be difficult when you don’t have a clear picture of how your employees are using it. With Your Dental Health Summary, you have a tool that gives you tailored and actionable information you can use to plan targeted, effective wellness initiatives for your group.

New Spanish videos are now available

¿Habla español? New Spanish videos are available for you to share with your employees. These videos will help your Spanish-speaking employees make the most of their plans and navigate Delta Dental’s online tools. You’ll find easy-to-share YouTube links and links to ad-free versions of the video that you can download and host on your company’s intranet. These videos are also available in English.

Online tools

This video walks employees through the robust online tools Delta Dental offers, including plan details, claim history, personalized cost estimates, the online dentist directory and other wellness resources. Resources behind the login process are currently only available in English, so this explanatory video is an especially valuable resource for Spanish speakers with limited English proficiency.

Get the video: Cost estimator and other tools


If your group’s plan doesn’t include the Cost Estimator, you can share this video instead. It covers all of the same online tools as the previous video, just without the personalized cost estimates.

Get the video: Online tools

 

Understanding Delta Dental’s networks

These videos explain Delta Dental’s three main networks.

For employees covered under a Delta Dental PPO™ plan, this video breaks down the advantages of choosing a PPO dentist and show them how to find a PPO dentist online.

Get the video: Understanding PPO networks


The Delta Dental Premier® network expands your employees’ options under a Delta Dental PPO plan. This video introduces employees to both the PPO and Premier networks, explains the differences and shows how to search for an in-network dentist.

Get the video: Understanding PPO and Premier networks


If you offer employees DeltaCare® USA, help them understand how this prepaid plan works and how they can choose a primary care dentist.

Get the video: Understanding DeltaCare USA

Updated wellness library offers a wealth of oral health info

Ensuring your employees are well-informed about their oral health is now easier than ever. Our newly redesigned wellness library features dozens of updated articles, detailed information about oral health conditions for both adults and children, helpful videos and much more, all with a fresh, inviting new look.

The available content covers a broad spectrum of useful topics, ranging from the importance of preventive care, to healthy habits that ensure teeth and gums look and feel great, to oral health issues to watch out for and their treatments.

What’s more, our wellness library addresses your entire extended employee family, with content that addresses everything from the oral health needs of toddlers, children and teens to healthy aging tips for seniors.

And of course, an important part of maintaining oral health is maintaining a diet that supports your smile and takes it easy on your teeth. Our wellness library features not only a wealth of informative nutrition content, but also provides your employees with a stellar selection of smile-friendly recipes, including snacks, drinks and desserts. We even offer recipes for special diets, including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes and diabetic-friendly meals.

So make sure your employees don’t miss out! For the best in up-to-date oral health information, remind them to take advantage of Delta Dental’s wellness library. You can also share these resources with employees by posting them to portal pages, adding them to employee newsletters or sharing them on social media. Our website is also optimized for mobile devices, so this content is accessible anywhere, on any device.

And don’t forget that your employees also have access to Grin!, our fun, free quarterly dental magazine, chock full of interesting features, oral health tips, seasonal content and even more great recipes. They can subscribe with one easy click. And for your employees with children, there’s Grin! for Kids, too.

Finally, don’t miss out on our helpful wellness calendar, which is another way to provide your employees with a host of relevant wellness content ― all year long!

Glaucoma and the oral health connection

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. While you might be aware that the disease is a leading cause of permanent blindness, it might surprise you to know that it may also be linked to oral health.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma occurs when a buildup of fluid causes pressure in the eyes to increase to abnormal levels, damaging the optic nerve. The resulting nerve damage causes partial or total blindness in the affected eye. After it occurs, this vision loss can’t be reversed, but early treatment to reduce eye pressure may reduce or halt the damage.

More than 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma, and the number of people who have the disease is expected to more than double by 2050, according to the National Eye Institute. While anyone, including children, can develop glaucoma, the condition is most common in:

  • People over age 60
  • African Americans over age 40
  • People who have a family history of the disease

OK, but how is glaucoma connected to oral health?

Various studies suggest a connection between poor oral health and glaucoma. A 26-year study of more than 40,000 men over the age of 40 found a correlation between tooth loss and primary open-angle glaucoma.

The study found that the risk for glaucoma was 43% greater in men who had lost at least one tooth than those who didn’t lose any teeth. When periodontal disease was also factored in, the glaucoma risk for men with tooth loss increased to 86% higher than men with no tooth loss.

While the specific cause isn’t certain, researchers speculate that bacteria at the site of the tooth loss can cause inflammation, which triggers reactions in the body that can affect the eyes.

What can I do for my employees with glaucoma?

If you have employees with glaucoma, here are few steps you can take to help them:

  • Encourage your employees to schedule dental cleanings. Preventive care not only helps improve the health of teeth and gums, it can also help improve employees’ overall health and help prevent conditions that lead to inflammation, a condition that can contribute to glaucoma.
  • Urge employees with gum disease to follow their dentist’s recommended periodontal treatment. Along with tooth loss, periodontitis has been linked to other health problems, including inflammation. If you don’t already, consider offering periodontal benefits, including our SmileWay® Wellness Benefits.
  • Take advantage of Delta Dental’s materials. You can take advantage of a variety of materials to support your employees during Glaucoma Awareness Month, including emails, posters, articles and videos.
  • Make our materials accessible for your employees. Delta Dental can also translate written materials, such as plan information, to Braille or audio for blind and low-vision employees. Contact Customer Service to make a request.

8 ways Delta Dental plans got better for your employees this past year

In a year like 2021, it’s easy to lose track of the updates that help your employees make the most of their Delta Dental plans. From telehealth to online resources, here are eight ways Delta Dental made it easier than ever for your employees to maintain a healthy smile.

1. Teledentistry lets employees use their benefits outside of the dentist office

In 2021, Delta Dental launched not just one but two teledentistry initiatives. Available under Delta Dental PPO™ and Delta Dental Premier® plans, Toothpic and Delta Dental – Virtual Consult let members use their existing diagnostic and preventive benefits to see Delta Dental dentists remotely at no cost.

Toothpic is perfect for members who just need a quick check-in, and Virtual Consult is great for members with more serious concerns that may require a prescription for treatment.

2. New videos make understanding networks and plans easier

The world of insurance can be difficult for people to navigate. As a benefits administrator, you know the value of clear and easy-to-understand communication. That’s why we’ve put together videos that you can share with employees to help them understand the online tools and resources available to them and the differences between the plans we offer.

3. The Delta Dental Mobile App is getting more features and more user friendly

Delta Dental is relaunching the Delta Dental Mobile App for 2022. The new app is faster and more stable and offers useful features such as member ID cards, dentist directory and a cost estimator. It will also be available on both Android and iOS. The old version of the app will be unavailable starting December 20.

4. Delta Dental and VSP are partnering up for paired vision and dental

This year, Delta Dental partnered with VSP to offer vision coverage to Small Business Program (SBP) groups. This coverage is structured in the same tiers as regular SBP coverage, so it’s easy to understand what kind of options are available. If you’re an SBP group and you want vision coverage, you can now get it in one convenient invoice paired with your dental coverage.

5. New open enrollment resources are available

This past open enrollment season brought multiple new features to help employees understand and make the most of their coverage options. In addition to the videos and teledentistry tools already covered, these resources include a new focus on “virtual” booths for open enrollment periods conducted remotely, quality ratings for dentists and refreshed website and customer service experiences. Speaking of quality ratings…

6. DentaQual ratings help employees find dentists they’ll love

This year, Delta Dental added DentaQual ratings to our dentist directory. Your employees can use DentaQual ratings to compare dentists based on objective measurements such as procedures success rate, value and patient retention. These ratings offer a simple and transparent solution to the problem of finding a great dentist.

7. Customer service gets reimagined

After two years of development, design and implementation, we rolled out our new customer service initiative, CX Reimagined. CX Reimagined brought an emphasis on soft skills, like empathy, active listening and de-escalation. Since we rolled out the CX Reimagined initiative, more members than ever before have told us that they’re satisfied with their service and that they’d recommend Delta Dental’s customer service to others. That means that you can feel confident in the quality of customer service Delta Dental provides your employees.

8. Delta Dental’s NCQA Credentialing Accreditation was renewed

Delta Dental Insurance Company’s NCQA Credentialing Accreditation was renewed through March 2024.

“Achieving NCQA Credentialing Accreditation demonstrates that Delta Dental Insurance Company has the systems, process and personnel in place to conduct credentialing in accordance with the strictest quality standards,” said Margaret E. O’Kane, president of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA’s Credentialing Accreditation is a quality assessment program that focuses on consumer protection and customer service improvement.


These major updates from 2021 help make Delta Dental plans a choice that will help your employees maintain their oral health and lead to better attendance for your business. We’re proud to be your partners in keeping your employees happy and healthy. Together we shine, and we’ll see you in 2022!

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