Benefits administrator blog from Delta Dental

Tag: SmileWay Wellness Benefits

5 ways to build a dental benefits package that employees will love

In the midst of the Great Resignation, benefits are more important than ever for attracting and retaining employees. About 37% of employees would rather receive more substantial benefits than additional salaries or bonuses. To create a dental benefits package that stands out and gets your company amazing applicants, consider these five plan enhancements.

1. Lower your plan’s deductible for individuals and families

Lower deductibles are appealing to employees for a variety of reasons. They’re easier for employees to hit, meaning they’re more likely to have their plan pay for their dental treatments, and employees who frequently reach their deductibles are more likely to save. The same is true for family deductibles.

Delta Dental PPO™ plans generally do have deductibles or maximums, but they can be adjusted depending on the wants and needs of your organization. Another option is DeltaCare® USA plans, which are particularly appealing for this reason — they don’t have deductibles or maximums.

2. Add a D&P waiver

With Delta Dental’s D&P Maximum Waiver® feature, the costs of covered diagnostic and preventive services (D&P) don’t accrue against a plan’s yearly maximum. Covered services typically include regular exams, x‑rays and cleanings.

Employees can then spend their coverage dollars on other needed dental services. D&P waivers are effective immediately, renew automatically and don’t require extra work from the employee or group to track remaining dollar amounts.

For more information, check out this flyer (PDF) or contact us.

3. Provide orthodontic coverage for all ages

The number of adults seeing orthodontists is at an all-time high, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, and that means the pool of prospective orthodontic patients is wider than it’s ever been.

Without coverage, prospective orthodontic patients can expect to pay between $3,000 and 6,000 dollars depending on their age. Delta Dental plans can help cut these costs in half. Orthodontic coverage is available under all DeltaCare USA group plans and can be optionally included in any Delta Dental PPO plan. Instead of limiting orthodontic benefits to dependents under 19, consider offering orthodontic benefits to children and adults.

4. Add implant coverage

The majority of adults ages 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth, and by age 74 more than a quarter of adults have lost all their permanent teeth.

One treatment for a lost tooth is an implant. Implants are an appealing option because they closely resemble real teeth, they’re permanent and comfortable, and they slow down the bone loss caused by losing a tooth. However, they can be expensive for patients without coverage. A single implant can cost up to $3,000 to $5,000.

Delta Dental offers several different options for implant coverage for groups. Implant coverage is available under Delta Dental PPO and some DeltaCare USA group plans.

5. Offer expanded coverage to employees with chronic conditions

Serious health issues like heart disease, diabetes and HIV/AIDS effect millions of Americans each year and people with these conditions are more likely to have oral health related problems as a result. With SmileWay® Wellness Benefits, you can add expanded coverage for your employees with chronic illnesses and make your plan more attractive.

If your company chooses to make this benefit available, your employees who have been diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis or stroke can receive 100% coverage for additional cleanings and gum treatment.

This optional benefit is only available for Delta Dental PPO plans, and your eligible employees must opt in to receive the additional coverage. These benefits can help keep your employees smiling and healthy, and healthy workers are a win-win for your company!


Having a competitive benefits package is key to recruiting and retaining valuable employees in a labor market that is replete with resignations. When you’re evaluating your benefits package, consider enhancing your company’s offerings. An appealing benefits package can be the edge you need to attract prospective employees.

How oral health can help your employees in the fight against diabetes

One in three Americans will develop diabetes at some point in their lifetime if current trends continue, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chances are a significant number of your employees are — or will be — seriously affected by the disease.

The estimated annual cost of diabetes in the U.S. is more than $327 billion, meaning that almost one in four dollars spent on health care is used to care for people with diabetes. The estimated cost in lost productivity alone is $90 billion. And research shows that the higher health care spending associated with diabetes actually begins well before diagnosis.

Fortunately, early screening and detection can help delay or even prevent complications from diabetes. Evidence suggests that periodontal changes are the first clinical manifestation of the condition. Regular dental check-ups can play a crucial role in reducing the devastating toll of diabetes.

November is American Diabetes Month, so it’s the perfect time to raise awareness and share resources with your employees. It’s important to highlight the role of regular check-ups in early diagnosis, as well as the importance of oral health care in managing diabetes.

The role of oral health care in diabetes

Many of your employees with diabetes probably aren’t even aware that they have the disease. As many as 20% of people who have diabetes don’t know they do, according to the CDC, and most with prediabetes (84%) are unaware of their condition.

Diabetes causes serious problems throughout the body, and the mouth is no exception. Diabetes can increase the sugar in saliva, which feeds the bacteria that cause tooth decay and cavities. It also reduces the body’s ability to fight oral infection. People with diabetes have a higher chance of developing gum disease, which can lead to pain, chewing difficulties and even tooth loss.

An oral exam can help detect diabetes because, like many other conditions, it often shows its first symptoms in the mouth.

Oral symptoms of diabetes to watch out for include:

  • Red, tender or swollen gums
  • A reduced or altered sense of taste
  • Bleeding gums
  • Dry mouth
  • A burning sensation in the mouth
  • Chronic bad breath or bad taste
  • Teeth that are loose or separating from each other
  • Oral infections that are slow to heal

Educate your employees on diabetes and oral health

Consider posting these early warning signs on your company’s website or social media, and advise employees experiencing symptoms to tell their dentist or physician. If symptoms are detected early enough, your employees can not only delay but possibly prevent progression.

Try some of these resources to help remind your employees of the importance of early diagnosis during American Diabetes Month:

Remind employees with diabetes to take time to check their mouths regularly for any problems and to visit the dentist for check-ups and cleaning.

Offer support to employees with diabetes

If you don’t already, consider offering SmileWay® Wellness Benefits as part of your employees’ dental package. Available for Delta Dental PPO™ plans, SmileWay Wellness Benefits are specifically for employees diagnosed with chronic health conditions such as diabetes. The benefits can provide these employees with additional annual cleanings and gum treatments that help treat oral issues associated with these conditions.

Eligible enrollees can receive these added benefits each calendar or contract year:

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

If your company offers SmileWay Wellness Benefits, remind employees they can easily opt in online by logging in and navigating to the optional benefits.

During American Diabetes Month, don’t forget to remind your employees about the central role oral health can play in preventing and managing diabetes.

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!

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