Word of Mouth

Benefits administrator blog from Delta Dental

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Send kids back to school with a smile

The COVID-19 pandemic has likely been hard on you and your employees. But it’s also been hard on their children, particularly their teeth. In fact, dental care was children’s No. 1 unmet health care need during the pandemic, according to a study in the Journal of the American Dental Association.

Let’s meet that need! With children returning to school, now’s the perfect time to help ensure that your employees’ kids get the dental care they need.

Kid-friendly coverage

Delta Dental covers the dental services your employees’ children need for strong, healthy teeth.

Sealants

Sealants help protect children’s permanent teeth by covering them with a thin plastic coating. Sealants are a very effective way to combat tooth decay, preventing 80% of cavities for two years and continuing to protect teeth for up to four years. Sealants are most effective when applied to permanent teeth soon after they emerge.

Most of our plans cover dental sealants for children, which means your employees can often get their kids protective sealants at little or no out-of-pocket cost. All standard DeltaCare® USA plans cover sealants. Sealants are also a standard benefit in group Delta Dental PPO™ plans, although coverage for sealants can vary by policy.

If your plan covers sealants, you can use this helpful flyer to educate employees about this procedure.

Fluoride treatment

Fluoride treatment, also known as topical fluoride or fluoride varnish, is a common procedure for children to help strengthen enamel and prevent tooth decay. This service typically has an age limitation, which can vary by plan.

If your plan covers this preventive service, share this flyer about fluoride treatment to help parents understand what it is and why it matters for their kids’ dental health.

Orthodontics

The preteen and teenage years are the most popular time for orthodontic treatment, such retainers and braces.

Orthodontic coverage is available under both Delta Dental PPO and DeltaCare USA plans. In fact, our plans can help cut the cost of braces in half, which is why we were recently recognized as the best overall dental insurance for braces.

All DeltaCare USA plans cover orthodontics at set copayments with no maximums or deductibles, and you can choose to add orthodontics to any Delta Dental PPO plan.

Wellness resources you can share

Help your employees and their kids get ready for a healthy school year with these helpful resources.

Back-to-school resources

Send your employees our back-to-school resources, including articles and recipes to promote children’s dental health. Post the link on your intranet, include it in an internal newsletter or click the “Share” button at the top of the page to send it to employees by email.

Looking for a quick PDF to attach to an email or print and post in a break room? Check out our back-to-school dental tips in flyer form.

Wellness library

You can find easy-to-share articles about kids’ and teens’ dental health in Delta Dental’s online wellness library, including back-to-school tips, a guide to healthy dental habits for kids and dental health advice for teens.

You can also share healthy recipes kids will love and informative videos on topics from teething trouble through caring for teeth with braces. 

Got Spanish-speaking employees? Articles, recipes and videos are also available in Spanish.

Grin! for Kids

Grin! for Kids is a free, full-color activity book that covers a variety of dental health topics in a fun and interactive way for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Your employees’ kids will love the games, puzzles, jokes, coloring pages and more. You or your employees can download and print the latest version and browse back issues for more games and activities. This publication is available in both English and Spanish.

Dual choice: the best of both worlds

None of your company’s employees are quite the same. Some are young and single, some have partners and families, some are approaching retirement. Some have excellent dental health and some, well, don’t. With so many different situations and stages of life, you might ask yourself if a single dental plan can truly meet all their needs.

Fortunately, you have a choice. More precisely, a dual choice ― Delta Dental’s dual choice. This plan configuration allows you to offer the attractive benefits, large network and substantial discounts of a Delta Dental PPO™ plan while also offering the predictability, affordability and simplicity of a DeltaCare® USA HMO-type plan.

How does it work?

As the name suggests, when an employer offers dual choice, employees have the freedom to select between either a PPO or HMO-type plan. With this flexibility, employees can decide for themselves which plan is the best fit, and can switch from one plan to another during open enrollment if they change their mind.

I’m still not sure my employees really need more than one plan type. What are some other factors to consider?

Here are a few reasons your employees might prefer one plan to the other.

 Delta Dental PPODeltaCare USA
AvailabilityDelta Dental’s expansive dentist network combined with the freedom to see any dentist means that employees who select a Delta Dental PPO plan will be able to find a dentist wherever they are, and almost always be able to find one who’s in network.Employees who chose a DeltaCare USA plan must visit their selected primary care dentist. For employees who live in rural or remote areas, being required to stay in the DeltaCare USA network could make finding an in-network dentist difficult.
Choice of dentistsEmployees who choose a Delta Dental PPO plan can see any licensed dentist, which might be important to employees who don’t want to switch from a favorite dentist.DeltaCare USA members must select a primary care dentist from the network. 
ConvenienceA Delta Dental PPO plan allows employees to visit any licensed dentist, regardless of network.DeltaCare USA members must visit their selected dentist, which means that employees may have to schedule time off and drive a significant distance if their dentist isn’t located close to where they’re working.
CostFor employees who need costly dental work, the substantial network discounts on services a PPO plan offers might make the additional expense worth it. For employees, DeltaCare USA plans are usually significantly less expensive than Delta Dental PPO plans. Orthodontics is always covered and often cheaper under DeltaCare USA, which is a plus for families with teens or preteens. These plans also have no maximums.
OrthodonticsNot all PPO plans cover orthodontics, and all have a lifetime orthodontic maximum. All DeltaCare USA plans cover orthodontic treatment. Treatment is covered at a set copayment for children and adults, with no deductibles, maximums or lifetime maximums. These plans also have no limits on the number of courses treatment that a member can have. So if an employee who has already had a full course of orthodontic treatment needs another, the plan will cover the second treatment.
Pediatric dentistryChildren who are covered under Delta Dental PPO plans can visit any pediatric dentist, and there’s no age limit beyond the cutoff set by the pediatric dentist. DeltaCare USA members can’t choose a pediatric dentist as a primary care dentist. Under these plans, pediatric dentists are considered specialists who must be referred by their selected dentist, like with any other specialty care. Pediatric care is also covered only up to age 8; after that, the child must visit a DeltaCare USA general dentist.
SimplicityDelta Dental PPO plans have deductibles and annual maximums. Some services may also have lifetime maximums. Out-of-pocket costs may vary depending whether the dentist is in network.DeltaCare USA plans have no deductibles or maximums. They also provide employees with a list of included procedures and their copayments, so they’ll know exactly what their out-of-pocket costs will be. This makes planning and budgeting treatment easy.

OK, but will offering a dual choice plan create a lot of paperwork and headaches for me?

Relax ― administration is painless!

For more information about dual choice, contact your account manager. To help your employees learn more about dual choice, here’s a useful flyer you can share and a pair of videos that explain each type of plan. You can also refer employees to this helpful site for more information about their plans.

Virtual dentistry helps employees get the most out of dental coverage

Teledentistry became popular in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, but even as businesses and workplaces have reopened, it remains relevant to employees and businesses alike.

The ability to receive a remote dental evaluation is a valuable benefit for employees who might otherwise not use their diagnostic benefits.

What is teledentistry?

Teledentistry, also known as virtual dentistry, is when a dentist performs a consultation via phone, text or video to diagnose dental issues, offer care advice and determine appropriate treatment, which may include a prescription or in-person follow-up visit.

Teledentistry appointments can be synchronous, such as a video call when the dentist and patient are interacting with each other in real-time, or asynchronous, such as when the patient sends a video or photo of their issue to the dentist and receives a reply later.

What teledentistry resources does Delta Dental offer?

  • Toothpic is a photo-based teledentistry platform that offers a virtual dental assessment from a Delta Dental dentist. Employees answer questions about their oral health history and the reason for their visit. Toothpic will help employees take photos of their mouth, which will be sent securely to a Delta Dental dentist for review. In less than 24 hours, employees will receive a comprehensive diagnostic report with their results, treatment options and cost estimates.
  • Delta Dental – Virtual Consult connects Delta Dental members and dentists for real-time video appointments. It’s totally secure and HIPAA-compliant. Virtual Consult makes it easy for employees to connect with a dentist in real time to get virtual consultations, e‑prescriptions and check-ins.

Do employees need special equipment for teledentistry appointments?

Beyond an internet-connected computer or mobile device with a camera, no special equipment is required for teledentistry appointments.

Why would employees want to use teledentistry if they can visit the dentist in person?

Teledentistry appointments can be a convenient way for employees to fit dental care into otherwise busy schedules. Instead of having to take time off work for traveling to and from the dental office, they can simply schedule a teledentistry appointment at their convenience. They can also use teledentistry appointments when they’re feeling ill or don’t wish to travel to the dentist’s office, when issues arise while they’re out of town away from their usual dentist, or when they want an expert opinion outside of regular office hours.

Is teledentistry covered by my company’s Delta Dental plans?

Generally, yes. For Delta Dental PPO™ plans that cover diagnostic and preventive (D&P) services at 100%, teledentistry appointments simply count as a regular exam. For plans that cover these appointments at less than 100%, the Toothpic platform will automatically prorate the cost of appointments accordingly.

And for plans that don’t offer copays for D&P services instead of coinsurance (including DeltaCare® USA), teledentistry appointments are available at a low flat rate.

Where can I get more information about teledentistry services for my employees?

To promote these resources to your employees, download the Toothpic and Virtual Consult flyers under Value-added features.

Employees can also learn more about virtual dentistry on our website, and sign up for Toothpic and Virtual Consult online.

Why your employees need a Delta Dental online account

Fielding questions from employees about their dental benefits can be time consuming. But your employees have a wealth of information at their fingertips if they sign up for an online account at Delta Dental’s website.

Advantages of an online account

With an online account, employees can view their current eligibility and plan details. They can also:

  • Find an in-network dentist
  • View and change their assigned primary care dental facility (for DeltaCare® USA members in most states)
  • View their member ID card or print a paper version
  • Check benefits and benefits usage
  • Estimate costs (for Delta Dental PPO™ and Delta Dental Premier® members)
  • View claims and visit details
  • Download plan documents

Promotional materials

All you need to do is let employees know about their online account. You can visit our open enrollment benefits resources and download flyers to share with employees. These flyers cover topics including:

  • Accessing online resources
  • How to use their plan
  • Understanding dentist networks

For more resources, contact your Account Manager.

Online resources

If your employees need help understanding their plan, they can also access a series of educational videos to walk them through the basics. The series includes the following videos:

These videos are also available fully in Spanish.

Signing up is easy

Having your employees get an online account not only makes it easier for you, but it also saves them time. Registration is a simple three-step process, and once they’ve logged in, it’s easy to find the information they’re looking for. Encourage your employees to take advantage of this valuable resource.

Keeping pregnant women healthy through expanded dental benefits

Pregnancy brings about unique physiological changes in a woman’s body, some of which can adversely affect oral health. That’s why Delta Dental offers an enhanced pregnancy benefit to help protect women’s oral and overall health during this crucial time. Learn how this benefit can help keep your employees healthy and safe during pregnancy.

Why do pregnant women need additional oral health care?

During pregnancy, several conditions are more common, including:

  •  Gingivitis and gum disease. Changes in hormones during pregnancy can help gingivitis-causing bacteria to grow. This can mean red and bleeding gums and an increased chance of developing gum disease. It’s estimated that nearly 60 to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease.
  • Tooth decay and cavities. Increased acidity in the oral cavity, alteration in diet and other physiological changes brought on by pregnancy can increase the risk of tooth decay.
  • Pyogenic granulomas. Also called pregnancy granulomas or “pregnancy tumors,” these small, inflamed nodes of tissue on the gumline affect the mouth of between 2 and 10% of expectant mothers.

Unfortunately, poor oral health during a pregnancy is, in turn, associated with a greater risk for poor outcomes during childbirth, including preterm birth and low birth weight. Clearly, maintaining good oral health is crucial during pregnancy.

What’s covered by Delta Dental’s enhanced pregnancy benefit?

Keeping teeth and gums clean is of utmost importance, so additional services are covered for women during pregnancy as follows:

  • One additional exam AND
  • One additional routine cleaning or gum care

How do members use the benefit?

Pregnant women can simply inform their dentist that they’re pregnant in order to be covered for the additional services. The dentist then submits a claim along with written confirmation of pregnancy for the additional benefits to be applied.

Which plans include the enhanced pregnancy benefit?

The enhanced pregnancy benefit is included with group Delta Dental PPO™ and Delta Dental Premier® plans and with individual Basic and Premium PPO plans. At this time, the enhanced benefit is not available to add to DeltaCare® USA plans. To confirm coverage, check the contract for details.

Keeping employees safe through enhanced pregnancy benefits

Dental health is an important part of overall health. It’s also an important part of pregnancy care. 

Make sure your employees are aware of the importance of taking care of their oral health during pregnancy and let them know how Delta Dental’s enhanced pregnancy benefit can help protect expectant mothers. Remind them about Delta Dental’s enhanced pregnancy benefit with a flyer, and encourage them to make use of the benefit to help ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy.

5 ways to encourage positive oral health habits among employees

National Employee Wellness Month is an opportunity for employers to recognize the importance of wellness in their employee’s lives. With stress and burnout on the rise, here are five ways you can encourage your employees to develop healthy oral habits.

Share discounts on popular oral care products from BrushSmart™

Help your employees upgrade their oral health routines with BrushSmart, a free oral wellness program available to all Delta Dental members. Delta Dental members who sign up receive access to special offers on popular brands and unlimited discount redemption.

Share this flyer or the website brushsmart.org with your employees.

Foster healthy habits at the office

Work takes up a major percentage of your employees’ lives. If their health and wellness is completely ignored during the workday, your employees will likely be at risk for a variety of oral and overall health issues. Habits like frequent unhealthy snacking, smoke breaks and even dehydration can contribute to poor health outcomes.

Encourage your employees to keep their wellness a priority while in the office by providing healthy snacks or even promoting smoking cessation programs. You could even create monthly competitions between departments to inspire employees to drink more water, walk further distances or even track healthy work snacks.

Send your employees our Employee Wellness Month campaign featuring tips, articles, video, recipes and more by clicking “Share” at the link.

Promote mental wellness

Did you know that oral health and mental health are deeply connected? People with mental health issues are less likely to take proper care of their oral health, and conversely, good oral health can enhance mental and overall well-being. Common mental health issues like depression, eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder can exacerbate poor oral health by causing people to brush and floss less frequently, miss dental visits and eat unhealthy diets.

You can help your employees by posting reminder posters about brushing and flossing in common areas, encouraging hydration through water breaks and sharing information on any mental health programs your company has on the employee intranet.

Educate employees on the importance of oral health year-round

And don’t just limit yourself to June! Throughout the year, there are weeks and months dedicated to informing the public about wellness topics like nutrition, mental health and tobacco usage. These events are the perfect opportunity for you to share information on healthy habits with your employees.

Delta Dental maintains a free, annual wellness calendar highlighting national wellness campaigns that you can use to plan wellness campaigns. Additionally, Delta Dental has shareable emails campaigns, flyers, posters and even videos to help you share oral health and wellness information with your employees.


Health and wellness are a key component to maintaining a happy and effective workforce. By prioritizing the well-being of your employees, you’re investing in the health of your entire company.

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