Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dental Health Determines Smiles and Frowns

Every New Year, I make the same resolution: to smile more. It’s a simple resolution. If I am smiling more, it means I have something to smile about and that I am healthy and confident – two things that really matter in life.

You know how they say “a picture is worth a thousand words?” Well I came up with a new saying “your dental health is worth a thousand smiles.” Being in the industry for so many years, you notice people’s smiles and whether they have had good dental care. It is when they do not smile that you assume the opposite and that they have not had good care or taken good care of their smiles.

However, here are some facts that impact our smiles:
• In a survey published last year, nearly 89 percent of consumers receive regular dental care, with the majority seeing their dentist twice a year or more. Sixty percent have dental benefits, while the other 29 percent pay out of pocket for the care they need. This means six million at-risk consumers defer the dental care they need. (These findings were revealed in a survey of consumers age 25 and older by the Long Group for the not-for-profit Delta Dental Plans Association).
• In 2008 and 2009, many people lost their jobs and their benefits due to the economic crisis and benefit cuts. Corporate budget cuts, healthcare reform and job losses have pulled the teeth out of dental benefits and offerings and may place certain mandates on dental health coverage. According to Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit Advisor, Dental benefits, remain one of the most valued and important benefits an employer can offer – aside from health insurance.

More than likely, we will continue to see benefit options shrink in the corporate arena, as companies struggle to survive and stay in the game. Interestingly, this economic crisis has delivered a big message to many Americans who lost their homes, jobs, benefit offerings and money in the market. Here is the take away: Your health and well-being, financially and otherwise, are in your control. Your smile depends on you.

Here is something to smile about:
• It is never too late to turn your frown upside-down and get the affordable dental care you need to brighten or straighten your smile.
• It was denoted in a recent article in Employee Benefit News that stand-alone dental companies and providers have more experience designing and administering cost-efficient dental and vision plans, where medical carriers specialize in adjudicating and paying medical claims based on policies, systems and processes unique to the practice of medicine. Many of these insurers lack the experience and infrastructure to do the same for dental benefits – and they charge more. Read more:
• American Dental Plan offers individual and family programs that will keep you smiling, year-round. Check out our plans:
• By purchasing a yearly membership, you gain access to a network of participating dental offices that provide the same quality dental services but at affordable and predictable prices. All residents of Arizona are eligible to join regardless of their age, employment status or dental care needs. This dental plan is unique since there are no waiting periods, no claim forms, no pre-existing exclusions, no yearly maximums, no employment requirements or age restrictions. Enrollment is always open and benefits are available immediately!

Happy New Year to you and yours. Here is to your health and your dental health. Give yourself and your family something to smile about – and take care of it. The return on your investment will be thousands of smiles.