Broker blog from Delta Dental

Tag: preventive care

Check out this email campaign to help your clients make the most of preventive care

Making full use of diagnostic and preventive services is one of the best things your group clients can do to stay healthy and save money. Regular trips to the dentist can help catch little problems before they become big ones. That means members can avoid potentially costly and painful dental problems and groups can save money and avoid lost productivity, all by increasing D&P utilization.

Enter the preventive care reminder campaign

The new preventive care reminder campaign can help your group clients boost D&P utilization. This is an email campaign for members who haven’t generated any dental claims in the past seven months. As part of this campaign, members will receive a series of three emails. They’ll receive:

  1. An email reminding them to schedule an appoint for a cleaning and exam.
  2. A congratulatory email after their visit for taking charge of their oral health. This email will also encourage them to set a reminder to return to the dentist in six months.
  3. A reminder email to schedule another exam and cleaning (if they chose to set one).

Does this campaign really work?

By comparing claims data across different groups, we’ve found a 37% increase in preventive care utilization rates among employees who receive and open preventive care reminder emails.

Higher D&P utilization means healthier smiles for members, more savings for group clients and another perk you can use to make selling Delta Dental even easier. That’s what we call win-win-win.

Want more info about the preventive care reminder campaign? Contact your Account Manager!

Emerging technique to stop tooth decay offers new dental solutions

Join Dr. John Yamamoto, Vice President of Professional Services, to learn about an emerging dental technique and how it could benefit certain populations.

A medication called silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is allowing dentists a unique opportunity to offer an affordable, painless and significantly less risky solution to one of this country’s most prominent oral health issues — cavities.

Approved by the FDA to treat tooth sensitivity, dentists are using SDF as an off-label solution to slow or stop decay caused by bacteria — particularly in pediatric cases.

SDF is applied topically to the teeth, and treatment includes two major components: the silver kills bacteria and the fluoride strengthens the remaining healthy parts of the tooth. The solution isn’t guaranteed to work on every cavity, but it is largely effective.

Topical application is a key element of SDF. Without drilling, SDF is a painless alternative to older techniques. It’s also significantly less expensive than a traditional filling.

The drawback? The silver renders the treated areas black, so the treatment isn’t an ideal solution for adult front teeth. Despite the aesthetic disadvantage, SDF is transforming the way dentists treat certain populations.

Since dentists can administer SDF painlessly, the treatment eliminates the need for sedation in some pediatric cases. Pediatric sedation poses many risks, so avoiding anesthesia to treat decay in children is a significant advantage. (Especially since baby teeth fall out, leaving the only disadvantage negligible.)

Not only does SDF eliminate pediatric sedation in many cases, but the advantages of SDF also reach the elderly and other vulnerable populations. For example, those who can’t afford extensive dental treatment can eliminate the pain of a cavity without the financial burden of a filling.

If your clients’ enrollees are curious about SDF, encourage them to ask their dentist for more information on how itworks and what a treatment plan may entail, as follow-up visits are often encouraged.

For more wellness content from Delta Dental, visit deltadentalins.com.

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Not-so-breaking news you (and your clients) need to consider

Dental care matters, and some oral health data may surprise you.

We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again — dental care, and coverage for such care, is really, really important. Here are just a few things to think about:

There are about 74 million reasons why you should critically consider the value of dental coverage.

The number of people in the United States without dental coverage more than doubles the number of people without medical coverage. Why?

We’ve illustrated before that dental benefits are generally worth the premium. Additionally, dental coverage can provide value and protection within its own limits. According to the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP), only about 10% of people with dental coverage hit their annual maximum.

So why recommend purchasing dental coverage? 

Consider the 6% rise in employee absenteeism due to children’s oral health. A 2017 survey conducted by Delta Dental Plans Association* reveals that nearly half — 45% — of parents in the United States cite their children’s oral health issues for missed time at work.

And still more concerning, 738,000 people go to the emergency room each year for oral health issues. More people go to the ER each year for oral health issues than the entire population of Seattle, WA.

The preventive nature of dental coverage could deliver more than peace of mind for your clients, with less time and money spent on emergency care and less missed time at work. 

 

* Our enterprise includes Delta Dental of California, Delta Dental of New York, Inc., Delta Dental of Pennsylvania, Delta Dental Insurance Company and our affiliated companies. All of our companies are members, or affiliates of members, of the Delta Dental Plans Association, a network of 39 Delta Dental companies that together provide dental coverage to nearly 76 million people in the U.S.

All you need to know about utilization metrics, you learned in kindergarten

Okay, so maybe you didn’t learn everything you need to know about utilization and benefit rates in kindergarten. But you did learn that taking care of your teeth helped you stay healthy. And believe it or not, that fact is often a driving force in the world of dental benefit rates.

Claims and utilization metrics can be viewed as a measure of how well your clients’ employees have learned the “brush your teeth” lesson. They can also play a big role in dental benefit pricing. In order for your clients to balance their benefits costs while offering their employees the best benefits possible, it really comes down to a few basic concepts.

1. Numbers

How are their employees using their benefits? Are most of them visiting for checkups and cleanings, or is there a high number of employees that are visiting the dentist  to treat cavities, periodontal disease or other dental conditions? These numbers represent their utilization of the dental plan.

2. Patterns

By identifying trends, you assist your clients in evaluating their plan performance and making adjustments if necessary. If they have unfavorable utilization patterns, can you help them turn this around by encouraging their enrollees to get preventive care? Should you recommend a change in plan design?  (Hint: Delta Dental can help!)

3. Comparisons

Talk to your clients about how their numbers stack up to carrier and industry benchmarks. These comparisons are an additional factor in determining their rates for new coverage and renewals.

Sounds simple, right? Not exactly. There are a variety of numbers, patterns and benchmarking data to be considered – all of which can affect rates.

And that’s just the beginning. Turns out it’s complicated – maybe it’s not so easy that a kindergartner could understand it. But by working with your clients to make sense of it all, you can help them create strategies that promote savings and happy, healthy employees.

Delta Dental offers comprehensive and easy-to-use reporting to help your clients maximize their benefit dollars.

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