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National Smile Month: The Importance of Dental Health

It’s National Smile month and now more than ever, the dental landscape is facing an increasing amount of change. Between January and March 2021, some patients were being asked to wait up to three years for an appointment with a National Health Service (NHS) dentist, or six weeks for an emergency appointment.[1]

Poor oral health contributes to greater overall health risks. Research has shown that gum disease, if left untreated, can lead to an increasing risk of heart disease, a stroke and even Alzheimer’s disease.[2]

Some NHS Dental surgeries have reported they have hit crisis levels with full waiting lists and no new appointments available, limiting access to care and treatment. Delays are resulting in worsening and painful symptoms and the risk of patients overusing painkillers to get through the day.

Assistance with dental treatment is a widely appreciated benefit that employees will use every year, helping to support their overall health and wellbeing. Many dental plans are continually evolving to provide product enhancements to make sure that employees receive a highly valued benefit.

With the cost-of-living crisis, private dental treatment, which can often be costly, is likely to become out of reach for most due to affordability. Even a basic check-up can set you back nearly £25, yet if avoided, more complex treatment becomes increasingly likely and more expensive, creating a vicious circle.

Despite brushing our teeth on autopilot twice a day, dental and oral hygiene is a massively important health issue and something that people should not put off.

With everyone currently looking for ways to reduce their outgoings, employee funded or self-funded insurance based dental plans and cash plans can be a great way to bridge the gap. There are a range of dental plans and levels of cover that can be designed to suit you and your employees. Introducing a dental plan as part of your employee benefits package is a great way to support the health and wellbeing of your people and will surely put a smile on their face.

The benefits of a dental insurance plan

For employers

  • Increased loyalty – Demonstrates your commitment to the health and wellbeing of your employees
  • Reduction in absenteeism – Providing a dental plan encourages employees to get regular check-ups or the treatment they need, reducing the likelihood of time off due to pain / illness caused by oral health issues
  • Ideal for businesses of all sizes and budgets
  • Highly valued benefit that can be either employer or employee funded


For employees

  • Save money on expensive treatments
  • Peace of mind – they can access treatment when they need to, avoiding NHS waiting times
  • Provides cover for both routine and restorative treatments (fillings & extractions)
  • Many company dental plans do not need initial examinations to determine the cost


[1] Healthwatch England

[2] British Heart Foundation


For more information and advice on dental plans and other health and wellbeing benefits, please contact Dan who will be delighted to hear from you.

View more about our wellbeing offering here.