Build Better Businesses with Dental Health

By Richard Beckman
Feb. 21, 2013

One decision the majority of employers need to make is health care packages for employees and what to include in them. Unfortunately, making this decision can be extremely time-consuming given the frequent changes that occur in the health care industry and the research necessary to make the appropriate selection for your business. Ultimately, the goal for employers should be to provide health care packages to employees that offer preventative care for all areas of health, thus helping reduce health care costs, which in the long term saves you money.

More productivity in workplace
A portion of health care packages often overlooked, or at times deemed not as critical, is the company’s dental plan. However, a healthy mouth means far more than preventing bad breath, cavities and oral cancer. According to the American Dental Association, the mouth is the window into the health of the body. A healthy mouth leads to a healthy body, which can lead to more productivity at the workplace.

Research has shown that oral hygiene is connected to overall health. Providing tools and information for practicing preventive care will help employees maintain optimal oral hygiene, keeping their bodies healthier, and potentially more productive at work by reducing sick time. Poor oral hygiene can lead to a range of potentially painful and expensive problems for both the employer and employees, including: periodontal disease, also known as gum disease; heart and lung disease; diabetes; stroke; risk of low birth weight in babies; and an increased risk of dementia.

Save money overall
Providing preventative dental services in the present can save money for employers in the future by helping to avoid costly non-dental medical emergencies. According to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, it is estimated that for every $1 spent on oral health care prevention, $8 to $50 is saved on future emergency and restorative procedures. This includes the potential avoidance of costly medical procedures tied to poor dental hygiene.

A healthy mouth is also important for overall appearance, which, depending on your industry, can be vital for business success. A winning smile goes a long way in relationships with customers and colleagues, so it’s crucial that your employees take proper care of their teeth and gums in order to make a lasting first impression. With the appropriate dental plan, which should feature semi-annual preventative procedures, at an absolute minimum, your employees will be able to take pride in their smile.

Over the past several years, there’s been much discussion on health insurance and the financial impact on businesses. While the cost of providing your employees with insurance may continue to increase, as recent trends indicate, you must weigh whether the impact of that increase is less than having employees miss work as a result of illnesses that could have otherwise been prevented with proper preventative care. So when deciding what programs and resources to provide to your staff, be sure to remember dental care plans. It can save your company money in the long run.

Richard Beckman is CEO for Great Expressions Dental Centers, a leading dental service organization with affiliated offices in nine states across the Midwest, South and Northeast, with headquarters in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. He has more than 33 years of experience in management and 17 years of experience in consumer-related industries. He can be reached at [email protected].