In what could be described as a huge step forward among dental health advocates, new research has found employers are now placing a higher value on dental insurance than they did before.
Approximately 62 percent of employers view dental health coverage as essential in their benefits packages, which is a nine-point increase from 53 percent in 2005, according to the study administered by the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP).
The 2008 Group Purchaser Behavior Study also found the largest increase was in employers with 250 to 999 employees.
"Clearly one reason for the dramatic increase in employers' views about the value of dental benefits is growing awareness of the connection between oral and overall health," NADP executive director Evelyn F Ireland said.
Ireland added the report showed that employers that incorporated dental coverage into their business plan saw attitudes and behaviors of their workers improve regarding their dental and overall health.
People who visit their dentist regularly and administer good dental care at home can reduce their risk of gum disease and tooth decay, according to the American Dental Association. If those conditions are left untreated, they can lead to other health problems such as heart disease.
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