From teeth whitening to crowns, and dental emergencies to extractions, a wide range of support can be included in a Group Dental Insurance plan. But like any area of healthcare, dentistry continues to evolve as new technologies and techniques improve the way in which services are offered.
In this article, we summarise the importance of Group Dental Insurance plus look at how BUPA Dental Care has adapted to the pandemic, including some of the fascinating technological advances they have been working on.
If you need professional advice and support navigating the world of employee benefits, contact us at Engage Health Group +44 (0)1273 974419. We’re here to help you find and implement the right scheme for your business.
What is Group Dental Insurance?
Group Dental Insurance offers cover for a wide range of dental treatments, such as check-ups, fillings, crowns, bridges, and X-rays. It can be provided as part of a wider Private Medical Insurance scheme or through a Health Cash Plan.
Costs vary depending on the level of cover offered, but it is mostly paid for either by the employer, as part of a flexible benefits scheme, or by the employee (at a discounted rate) through a voluntary benefit scheme. The scope for flexibility makes it an accessible benefit for most businesses.
What are the benefits of Group Dental Insurance for your business?
53% of employees believe an organisation offering dental insurance cares more about the wellbeing of staff, according to Unum Dental.
Here are some examples of why Group Dental is good for your business:
- Shows support of employee health & wellbeing
- Reduces absenteeism
- Lower in cost compared to most forms of health insurance
- Oral care is directly linked to overall health (such as heart disease), so can help protect overall health of employees – improving productivity/lowering presenteeism.
- Improves staff retention & recruitment
- Partners/dependent children can be included
Are you looking to find the best employee benefits that addresses all your employees’ health and wellbeing needs? Get free one-to-one advice by using the chat feature in the bottom right or call +44 (0)1273 974419.
What’s new with dental care according to BUPA?
Covid has been responsible for increased waiting lists and restricted availability for face-to-face appointments. Like many businesses, BUPA Dental Care has been forced to adapt and innovate.
BUPA has been developing a new type of hybrid dentistry which focusses on bringing oral care to the homes of patients. Meanwhile, routine appointments are now being delivered more conveniently via video consultations, helping to free up backlogs in the process.
BUPA’s new advances target four different areas of the patient experience.
1. Remote assessment
Remote ways of working became the new norm in the face of Covid. But could dental care really operate that way? Being such a closely physical task, it would seem impossible to digitalise or perform from a distance.
Yet, BUPA worked to find the answer.
After an initial consultation BUPA is giving its patients access to a ‘scan-box’ for their smartphones. These take photos of their mouths which are sent to a dentist to monitor remotely.
The company has developed ‘Intraoral Scanners’ which record 3D impressions of a patient’s mouth and teeth. The digital 3D images are then used to create prostheses (i.e., implants, crowns, dentures etc) and guide procedures.
These developments save time (by reducing travel time to the clinic) and lessens the risk that may be posed by physical interaction.
2. Dental maintenance and care
BUPA has introduced smart toothbrushes which measure how effectively patients brush their teeth, collecting data as they go. Data is then passed onto a dentist, enabling them to create a tailored care plan. This information can also be shared with insurers to develop ways of rewarding good oral care – if the individual gives their permission.
Dental maintenance is one of the key factors in oral health. This leads to reduced claims and protects employees against more serious conditions like heart disease and dementia.
Poor maintenance can also lead to agonising tooth pain. It can be disruptive and stressful, putting strain on mental wellbeing and the ability to focus. Poor oral health might seem like an isolated problem, but its impact goes much further for sufferers.
3. Convenient access
BUPA is one of the largest UK dental networks with 488 dental practices and more than 2,500 dentists! Such a wide reach means that most employees will have access to at least one local dental practice, reducing workplace absences and travel time.
Improving access further, BUPA are moving all their forms to online platforms. Patients can then fill out paperwork ahead of their appointments, reducing the chance of a backlog.
4. Real-time appointment schedules
BUPA has developed a new cloud-based patient management system, promoting convenient and effective care. The digital database offers current information, remote virtual appointments, and streamlines appointments to reduce face-to-face time.
An intelligent booking system will send out reminders of appointments as normal, but also react to delays by giving patients an updated appointment time. Access to this information at the touch of a button reduces time away from the workplace.
Can your team benefit from innovations in healthcare?
New advances in healthcare provides businesses with exciting opportunities to better protect the health and wellbeing of their teams. Improved services which are easier to access are ideal for employee and employer alike – in essence achieving maximum support with minimum hassle.
As employee benefits consultants, we’re fascinated by how insurance products and offerings continue to evolve to better serve their customers. We keep abreast of these trends to better serve businesses and the employees who stand to benefit.