Bupa research has found that over 4.5 million workers have put off a visit to the dentist, because of time constraints.
Despite employee dental cover being one of the most accessible workbenefits, the study revealed that the top reasons for people avoiding the dentist are the cost of appointments, fear of the dentist, and a lack of time –including not being able to take time off work.
The research also found that over two million Brits have not been to the dentist for over ten years, while 8.5 million are leaving it too long in between visits, waiting over two years between appointments. Meanwhile a third have never visited a hygienist – equating to more than 21.5 million people in the UK.
Last month Bupa unveiled its new dental insurance options for businesses, Bupa Dental Plan and Bupa Dental Choice. Both have been redesigned to cover more preventative treatments, which members typically use most, including routine examinations, hygienist appointments and x-rays.
It also includes Bupa’s ‘No Forms, No Fuss’ direct settlement process, a market-leading move which means that claims can be settled immediately, so customers do not have to pay upfront and claim back the costs.
Steve Gates, Director of Bupa Dental Insurance said:
“Our research shows there are a number of barriers stopping employees looking after their oral health. We’ve updated our dental insurance plans, making it easier for businesses to support their workforce and to accommodate busy employees.”
Bupa Dental Insurance can be used at any dentist. However, patients visiting a dentist within Bupa’s approved network – which includes many Bupa dental practices, as well as non-Bupa sites – will benefit from discounts off their dental treatment.
To support busy workers, over 300 Bupa practices are open for extended hours during theweek, with nearly 200 seeing patients at the weekend. What’s more, many are located in prominent high street locations, meaning patients can visit without having to take time off work.
Steve Gates continues:
“Bupa offers a range of options to access affordable dental treatments. While insurance can help further spreadthe cost, we’ve gone one step further by introducing our new direct settlement process. This means customers aren’t left out of pocket as patients don’t need to pay up front before claiming thecost back.”
Bupa overhauled its B2B dental insurance products after reviewing customer data. With over two thirds of our claims being for preventative care, the Bupa Dental Plan was launched to give members access to the services they were using most.
Dr. Neil Sikka, Chief Dental Officer for Bupa UK Insurance, explains:
“All employers will want to keep their workforce in good shape, and there’s a well-established link between oral health and general health. As such it’s vital that we’re encouraging people to make regular visits to the dentist, as it can play a role maintaining their overall health.
“By covering preventative care we’re removing the cost barrier which previously put people off regular visits, giving workers and employers something to smile about.”
More details about the new plans can be found at bupa.co.uk/business-dental-insurance.
 4.5m figure is based on 14% of the working population (currently 32.39m people according to ONS) 0