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01 Sep 2023

How employee benefits can help ease people’s dental worries

More than 70% of employees are putting off going to the dentist because of needing to take time off work, according to new research

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Employees are delaying essential dental treatment which could impact their overall health and wellbeing, found research by Bupa Dental Insurance.

Furthermore, almost one-third (31%) of employees say they’ve had a negative response from employers when asking for time away for dental treatment.

Almost half of employees (48%) have called in sick or left work early due to dental pain and more than 1,330 working days were lost to dental pain in the last year.

Employees who continue to work through pain say they’ve found it difficult to concentrate (29%), became less productive (25%), and were snappier with colleagues (14%).

Neil Sikka, Dentist and Chief Dental Officer for Bupa Dental Insurance said: “It’s concerning when people put off dental treatment. It can lead to problems becoming much worse, as early diagnosis and treatment can significantly lower the chances of severe pain or tooth extraction.

“The same goes for routine check-ups. By delaying, it puts people at risk of tooth decay and gum disease, which may cause serious complications, pain or require more specialist treatment. 

“Employers have a responsibility to look after the wellbeing of their workforce, and this includes oral health. Allowing time for dental appointments may improve productivity and require fewer sick days over the long-term.”

The Bupa Wellbeing Index found that 68% of respondents said their motivation at work would increase if dental insurance was offered by their employer, to cover regular check-ups and treatment. A similar number of employees (72%) said they would take up dental insurance if offered. 

Ann Stewart, Head of Bupa Dental Insurance adds: “Dental insurance is a highly valued workplace benefit. For businesses seeking to retain and attract the best people, a way to do this is strengthening their workplace health and wellbeing offering. 

“By encouraging people to have regular check-ups and take action when treatment is needed, it can prevent more serious issues later.”

Benefits of Bupa dental insurance include:  

  • Instant claim: With Bupa’s Instant Claim service, customers can visit a practice within Bupa’s insurance network and they’ll take care of the claim immediately.
  • Support line: The Bupa Dental Care support line is available to help discuss an emergency by phone, offer a second opinion or provide reassurance. This service is free and doesn’t affect benefit limits. Customers can also use this line to book an appointment at Bupa Dental Care practices.
  • Cancer checks: Bupa offers comprehensive cover for oral cancer. It also covers dental injuries and emergencies, as well as restorative care. 
  • Product enhancements include:
  • Increased benefits for check-ups and scale and polish.
  • No waiting period for oral cancer cover on business products so customers can access treatment as soon as they need it.
  • Covering all clinically necessary restorative dental treatment up to benefit allowances.
  • Covering hospital dental treatment up to benefit allowances.
  • Separate fillings and root canal benefit on Dental Plan so employees can claim more cash-back towards a filling and a root canal.
  • New top level of cover for Dental Choice with 32 increases to benefit allowances. This further improves value for customers as it enables them to claim even more cash-back towards their treatment.

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