For example, however expensive our home sound system, the equivalent equipment to a professional Disc Jockey is likely to be worth considerably more to him or her as it constitutes the tools of their trade. For many, body parts are of great value, but few of us will insure limbs like Cristiano Ronaldo who reportedly insured his legs for $144 million when he was at Manchester United.
When it comes to safeguarding dental health, the risks are high; the repercussions of poor oral health influence not only our self-confidence and relationships but are also linked to general health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, strokes, pneumonia, premature birth and rheumatoid arthritis. In this context, it seems strange that only 12% of the UK population invest in dental insurance policies[i]. Because completely free NHS dental care is only available to a few – pregnant women, new mothers, children up to the age of 18 and those in receipt of benefits – insurance policies can be the most affordable option. NHS dental care currently comprises of three different treatment bands, ranging from £18.80 for an examination, x-ray and diagnosis, through to £222.50 for treatments including bridges and crowns. Even practices offering these treatments have to charge the patient significant fees, especially for complicated work. 63% of NHS dental patients choose their practices for cost reasons[ii] so it’s prudent for patients and clinical professionals alike to familiarise themselves with dental insurance options, which can provide good value for money, particularly where several treatments will be required.
For patients with good oral hygiene and health, a six-monthly or yearly check up can be all that is required, at a current cost of under £20 each time. However, the statistics show these patients are relatively rare. The 2009 Adult Dental Health Survey revealed 45% of the adult population with teeth displayed gingival pockets of 4mm or more, indicating that periodontal disease is a widespread issue.[iii] However, few dental practices offer hygienist services under their NHS umbrella – a British Dental Association report in 2013 showed that over half of the dental practices in the UK with more than a 75% commitment to NHS dentistry, didn’t employ hygienists at all[iv]. Dental patients with periodontal conditions are recommended to visit a hygienist at least twice a year, typically costing around £50 each time. Add to that the cost for a standard amalgam filling at £50.50 (a composite, white filling is usually a private treatment), and the necessary dental check ups, it’s clear to see how costs can escalate. For those patients requiring extensive dental procedures, a policy from a reputable insurance company – ranging from £220-276[v] for annual private cover – will pay 75% of the final bill and can end up being much more cost-effective. For dental patients who require extensive dental work but can access all the treatments through their NHS dentist, NHS clinic-only insurance options are even better – with unlimited treatment cover starting at £120 covering 100% of costs incurred[vi]. Depending on the extent of treatment required, dental insurance policies can make sound financial sense, particularly as they can sometimes cover family units, accidents or emergencies overseas, and some offer no upper age limit for new customers.
Munroe Sutton has been organising, designing and managing stand-alone, affordable dental plans for over thirty years. These plans are created by dentists, modelled to benefit both the professional and the patient with the committed provision of fair compensation for dental services and improved accessibility to quality dental care for the individual. It costs a practice absolutely nothing to join the Munroe Sutton database but inclusion reaps unlimited rewards.
Prominent insurance, healthcare and finance institutions direct customers seeking their services to your practice, constituting free marketing and a continual flow of profitable new business. With dental professionals feeling pressure to meet UDA targets and remain competitive with the use of new technology and treatment options, what could be better than a free, successful marketing tool to keep your business moving forward?
For more information please call 0808 234 3558
or visit www.munroesutton.co.uk
[iii] 2: Disease and related disorders – a report from the Adult Dental Health Survey 2009 http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB01086/adul-dent-heal-surv-summ-them-the2-2 (accessed 23/6/2015)
[iv] The State of General Dental Practice in 2013 Table 11. https://www.bda.org/dentists/policy-campaigns/research/workforce-finance/ddrb/Documents/state_of_general_dental_practice_november_2013.pdf (accessed 01/7/2015)
[v] Which? Dental Insurance Policies http://www.which.co.uk/money/insurance/reviews-ns/dental-insurance/dental-insurance-policies/ (accessed 23/6/2015)
[vi] Which? Dental Insurance Policies http://www.which.co.uk/money/insurance/reviews-ns/dental-insurance/dental-insurance-policies/ (accessed 23/6/2015)