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The Mouth is the Missing Piece of Total Wellness

This is part of a special advertising section featuring strategies for productivity.

Thursday, September 3, 2015
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At the heart of every wellness plan is the idea that the body is a system. It is known that what affects one area can affect many; what benefits one part can be good for all. As a dental insurance company, we at United Concordia Dental know that oral health is about more than bright smiles. It's the missing piece of complete healthcare. And while most employers today see employee wellness programs as a key to managing future healthcare costs, there is one piece of the puzzle that's often neglected -- the mouth.

When chronic illnesses cause an additional 450 million days of missed work per year, costing employers $153 billion in productivity, it's easy to understand why employers need comprehensive prevention and wellness programs.1 Equally shocking is the fact that 47 percent of Americans over the age of 30 currently suffer from gum disease.2 And when only 5 percent of an insured population actually does anything about it, gum disease becomes an epidemic of its own.3

Knowing this, we set out to determine if there was a correlation between treatment and maintenance of periodontitis (gum disease) and reduced medical costs for people with certain chronic medical conditions. To find the answer, we partnered in a landmark study with Highmark Inc., and lead researcher Marjorie Jeffcoat, D.M.D., professor and dean emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.

Together, we learned there is a critical connection between the health of the mouth and the overall health of the body. Our research found that significant healthcare savings and reduced hospitalizations are possible when patients with one or more chronic conditions and women who are pregnant complete proper treatment and maintenance for gum disease.4 This discovery, along with our 40 years of experience as dental benefits specialists, led to Smile for Health ® -- Wellness, a program that combines improved dental-benefits offering full coverage for periodontal services (including surgical procedures) and targeted outreach designed to educate and engage members to help them take control of their oral health and better manage their condition.

Smile for Health ® -- Wellness is a simple addition to your dental plan designed to promote better oral health, lower lifetime cost of care, increase productivity and reduce absenteeism among your workforce. And when just a few employees take advantage of this program, it can deliver a full return on investment. That's a program that pays for itself.

With United Concordia Dental, you'll receive professional online and personal services, customized solutions, time-saving tools and access to our vast network of dentists. We are dedicated to education about oral wellness, making it easier to visit the dentist, helping employees stay at work and out of the hospital, and, subsequently, saving employers money. Because when employers offer comprehensive worksite wellness programs, more satisfied employees and increased productivity are possible.

Discover how United Concordia Dental is bringing wellness full circle at UCMissingPiece.com.

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Disclaimer

United Concordia policies provide dental insurance only. Dental plans are administered by United Concordia Cos. Inc. and underwritten by United Concordia Insurance Co., United Concordia Life and Health Insurance Co., United Concordia Dental Corp. of Alabama and United Concordia Insurance Co. of New York. Not all products available in all jurisdictions. Visit the Disclaimers link at www.unitedconcordia.com for information about which companies and products are licensed in your area. Administrative and claim offices are located at 4401 Deer Path Road, Harrisburg Pa., 17110. See the actual policy or your account representative for provisions and details of availability.

References

Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index: 2/2/11-10/2/11.

Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States: 2009-2010/September 2012.

National average premium based on United Concordia 2014 standard plan.

Jeffcoat, M., et al., "Impact of Periodontal Therapy on General Health: Evidence from Insurance Data for Five Systemic Conditions," Abstract, American Association of Dental Research, March 21, 2014.

 

 

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