DeCare Dental MD Maureen Walsh pens an interesting article on why Dental Insurance is becoming increasingly important for businesses.
The estimated cost of dental healthcare in the EU is €80 billion. In Ireland, 83% of dental costs are paid out of pocket and covered privately by the individual. To compound matters, costs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have risen at dental practices. Apart from tooth loss and gum health, more than 120 diseases can be identified and diagnosed by markers present in the mouth, including coronary heart disease, diabetes and oral cancers, while loss of teeth can be linked to depression. This makes dental care a vital component of overall health and wellbeing.
With this in mind, it is obvious that “it is very important to go to the dentist” as DeCare Dental MD Maureen Walsh says. As Ireland’s only dedicated dental insurer, the company that is now in its 21st year in Ireland, knows the value of good dental care, and about the need for companies to have a dental insurance plan in place to ensure the health and wellbeing of their staff.
“Dental Care is expensive” Maureen says, “the purpose of dental insurance plans is to protect people from the financial burden of these expenses, enabling them to go to the dentist regularly for preventative care and providing cover for more extensive treatments such as orthodontic cover and oral cancer should they be required.
Positively, people are retaining their teeth for longer and this creates a need for cover and education over a lifetime. “There is proven link between access to dental insurance and frequency of dental visits and this is leading more companies to offer a dental plan as part of their benefits package, which has led to the dental insurance market doubling in Ireland since 2014. “60% of our waking hours are spent at work, and companies have recognised the need to provide plans that cater to their multi-generational staff health needs and are increasingly aware of the link between oral care, overall health, self-esteem and confidence,”
Maureen tells me – “Employers are actively seeking complementary benefit structures that will offer better overall value for money and be positively received and utilised by the workforce.” With a mission to empower people to improve their oral and general health throughout their lives, DeCare not only provides the insurance cover that makes access to dental treatment possible, but also provide education and awareness through programmes designed and delivered by a team of experienced clinical experts.
DeCare partners with more than 400 companies and close to 50,000 people throughout Ireland on their benefit requirements – “This will become even more important as the world adapts to a new way of working,” says Maureen. “COVID-19 has brought its own oral health challenges. Dietary habits while working remotely and stress has had impact on oral health globally and it is vital that throughout and beyond these times oral health remains a priority.”