Benefits administrator blog from Delta Dental

Tag: preventive care

SmileWay Wellness Benefits help employees stay healthy

More people are becoming aware of the way that health issues can manifest in the mouth and oral health issues can exacerbate other medical conditions. With serious issues like heart disease being responsible for so many deaths in the U.S., your employees may be interested in learning how good dental health can improve their overall health. If they have medical conditions that affect their oral health, SmileWay® Wellness Benefits may help meet their needs.

Who’s eligible for SmileWay Wellness Benefits?

Not everyone is eligible for SmileWay Wellness benefits. To claim these benefits, your employees must:

  • Have a Delta Dental PPO™ plan
  • Belong to a group that offers SmileWay Wellness Benefits
  • Have chosen to opt in to the program

If your employees have been diagnosed with any of the following, then they are eligible for expanded coverage:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Stroke

What are the benefits?

If your plan includes SmileWay Wellness Benefits, then employees are eligible for these added benefits each calendar or contract year:

  • 100% coverage for one scaling and root planning procedure per quadrant (D4341 or D4342)
  • and 100% coverage for four of the following in any combination:
    • Prophylaxis (D1110 or D1120)
    • Periodontal maintenance procedure (D4910)
    • Scaling in the presence of moderate or severe gingival inflammation (D4346)

If your employees have medical issues that necessitate extra dental care, consider adding SmileWay Wellness Benefits to your coverage and letting them know. These benefits can help keep your employees both smiling and healthy, and healthy workers are a win-win for your company!

Everyone wants (but doesn’t use) this employer-sponsored benefit

2‑minute read

When people search for jobs on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, etc., they surely expect to find a section of each job ad that includes a brief description of benefits and perks. Some company benefits are traditional while others get creative. And a few things are usually constant – paid time off, 401(k) options and health insurance – both medical and dental.

It’s no industry secret that enrollees expect dental coverage in their benefits package. In fact, 88% of job seekers say they would give better benefits some, or heavy consideration when choosing between employers, even if the pay were lower.

So we know that people want — and even expect — dental coverage from their employers and organizations; however, the fascinating thing is that enrollees often don’t use this must-have benefit.

Using claims data* from our enterprise, we found that only 37.2% of enrollees received the recommended two annual cleanings in 2017. And 23.9% of enrollees received only one cleaning. If you’re a current Delta Dental client, or work in the benefits industry in general, does it surprise you that nearly 40% of enrollees didn’t visit the dentist?

Since routine preventive dental care can detect health problems early, and help to prevent more costly medical expenses down the road, it’s concerning that more people aren’t seeking preventive care more often. To curb this trend, consider encouraging enrollees to visit the dentist for their recommended diagnostic and preventive care.

Share the wellness benefits of exams and cleanings with them. We recommend content from the preventive care section of our SmileWay® Oral Health library.

Do you know people who are anxious about visiting the dentist? Check out our tips for easing these fears. As a bonus, watch the magic of dentistry at work — proof that visiting the dentist can even be fun. 

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* Data is based on submitted claims for commercial Delta Dental PPO enrollees, excluding state or federal exchange enrollment. Cleanings are based on claims including the following procedure codes: D1110, D1120 and D4910.

Extra periodontal cleaning can lead to healthier babies

While the relationship between periodontal disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes is still being explored, good oral health during pregnancy can give babies a healthy head start. And with Delta Dental, your employees can do exactly that.

A mother’s health greatly impacts her baby, and oral health is no exception. Expectant mothers with poor oral health may be at higher risk of pre-term delivery and of passing disease-causing bacteria to their child. Women with untreated dental decay or gum disease during pregnancy and after delivery are likely to transmit the bacteria that cause these infections to their babies.1 2 That’s why it’s a smart move for your employees to get a dentist recommendation to take advantage of Delta Dental’s additional cleaning during pregnancy. Not only can additional cleanings reduce bacteria, it’s a great opportunity for expectant mothers to learn healthy oral habits they can instill in their children.

Extra cleanings can help expectant mothers improve their oral health, and in turn, encourage their dependents to develop healthy habits from the start. From pregnancy to any one of life’s stages, we have plenty of resources that make it easy for your employees to practice healthy oral habits.

  • Visit our SmileWay® Wellness site for downloadable flyers, posters and booklets you can share with enrollees.
  • Encourage enrollees to Subscribe to Grin!, our free oral health e‑magazine, which offers advice that’s both fun and useful.

1 Benjamin Chaffee, et. al. Maternal oral bacteria levels predict early childhood caries development. Journal of Dental Research 93, no. 3. March 2014; 238–244.

2 Snyder, Andrew. Oral health and the triple aim: evidence and strategies to improve care and reduce costs. National Academy for State Health Policy. April 2015; 4.

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