Dental insurer Cigna says that a comprehensive dental plan will help with the costs of treatment and encourage employees to seek regular preventative care. The critical point for employers is that the appeal for dental insurance is broadly spread – regardless of age, gender or status this is a valued benefit that can be provided to each and every employee (including dependants if desired) throughout the company. Members can access generous re-imbursements on a wide range of dental treatments – including peace of mind cover for accidents and emergencies and oral cancer. Dental insurance can be integrated with ease at a relatively low cost and can be set up on a company paid basis.
Knowing that dental visits are an important part of a preventative oral health routine is one thing. Being able to easily access and afford quality dental treatment and advice is quite another. Dental treatment is the most costly and frequently used health item that the National Health Service doesn’t universally provide free at the point of use. The proportion of NHS dental care paid by patients has progressively increased over time as government subsidies have diminished. Apart from general discontentment with the NHS system, there are other factors driving the rise of private dentistry in the UK. Over the last decade or so, patients needs have moved from simply ensuring their teeth are healthy and pain-free to an ever-stronger desire that they should also be cosmetically pleasing.
The new Government has recently pledged that the new NHS dental contract will focus on achieving good dental health and increasing access to NHS dentistry. Whether they will follow through with the necessary funds to carry through its proposals, how quickly they can be implemented and how patient charges will be affected remains to be seen.
Private dentistry is already well established and is unlikely to diminish because of any changes. Dental care remains for the majority, an out of pocket expense and dental plans are here to help fill the gap.