Since June 8, UK dental practices have been able to reopen to patients, after a two-month closure; making it easier for patients to reschedule check-ups or book in for much-needed treatments. However, research suggests a third of patients plan to visit their dentist less often since lockdown restrictions eased.
Getting back into a routine of regular dental and hygienist visits is vital to ensuring long term oral health and preventing more serious health issues from arising undetected. Check-ups include an examination of teeth and gums; a check on general health and problems with teeth, mouth and gums; and advice about diet, smoking and teeth-cleaning habits – all of which may have been overlooked during the lockdown. But Unum claims data suggests there’s a high financial price to putting off a trip to the dentist too.
From a cost perspective, employees with Unum Dental cover who visit their dentist for regular private preventative treatment such as check-ups and teeth cleaning and X-rays as well as restorative treatment when required, such as fillings, crowns and implants, can expect to be charged, on average, £326.98 per year for these services. Those who overlook preventative treatment and only seek restorative treatment can see the cost of treatment rise on average to £530.57 – that’s a 62 per cent increase in cost per patient.
Andrew Bower, managing director at Unum Dental, commented, “The closure of dentists due to Covid-19 made it hard for patients to receive preventative treatment. Without regular check-ups, a whole host of oral health issues can manifest, and if left untreated, result in major procedures being necessary.
“Dental cover is the most popular flexible health benefit offered by employers, and after a prolonged period where people have been unable to see their dentist, it’s imperative that employers ensure their staff are fully aware of the dental cover available and reinforce the importance of upkeeping regular dental care. Not only will this help with their financial planning but will also alleviate any concerns around their oral health, which is vital to maintain, as not doing so has been linked to further health issues such as heart disease and cancer.
“With many people working from home and not travelling into city centres, our proposition provides cover for any dentist anywhere in the world, which will help anyone looking to change their dentist or have treatment closer to home.”
“To further assist employees working remotely, Unum Dental operates a digital portal to offer a user-friendly online experience that is completely streamlined for ease and speed of use.”
Unum Dental helps cover the cost of both preventative and restorative treatments for policy members and their families, if covered, at a dentist of their choice.