The business of dental health

19 July 2016

Dental surgeon Bhav Kotecha, one of Bupa’s Clinical Leads, highlights how making dental visits as quick and easy as possible could benefit your business, and offers his top tips for healthy teeth.

dentist with patient

Although employers aren’t legally required to give their team time off for dental appointments1, you might have chosen to do so – either on an ad hoc basis or by writing this into employee contracts.

“Nowadays convenience is such a big thing. Because of the hours a lot of people work, they tend to want to spend their leisure time doing something other than visiting the dentist. I think people really value the benefits of getting healthcare close to their place of work,” says Bhav.

Bupa currently has 44 Bupa-owned dental centres (with an aim to reach 200 across the country) including the flagship Bupa Dental Centre at Bank, London, where Bhav works. In addition to this, Bupa’s nationwide Bupa Plus Network includes dozens more Bupa-approved dentists.

“The vast majority of people who use the Bank centre work nearby,” he says. “In terms of productivity, to have an alliance with a local clinic is hugely beneficial. It reduces the amount of time people need to take off for dental treatment and is especially useful should a dental emergency arise.”

Bhav also spends two days a week working as an onsite dentist for a global investment bank in the City. He acknowledges that this kind of onsite facility may not be a cost-effective solution for most small businesses, but the experience has given him an insight into how employees greatly value an onsite dental facility as a key benefit.

“I get fantastic feedback from employees, and as it’s so convenient a preventative approach is possible,” he says. Employees tend to have regular check-ups (especially those with dental insurance) and therefore potential issues are likely to be picked up sooner and before they potentially cause absence.

“Dental insurance is a very attractive benefit for employees. When people are looking at jobs, they often aren’t just looking at the financial rewards. They are looking at the whole package including benefits such as healthcare. In addition to medical insurance I think dental insurance is a really good thing for small businesses to have and helps them compete with some of the bigger companies in the search for talent. It reflects a positive organisational culture and highlights how much they value employee wellbeing. And that’s increasingly important these days.”

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“Most patients need to attend every six months. However, current guidelines advise that the time between examinations can be longer, especially if you tend to have less treatment need and are considered ‘low risk’. For those patients an annual examination may be sufficient.”

“Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes using an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are a much more efficient way of removing plaque. Use dental floss daily. It’s important to watch your diet too – avoid sugary foods and drinks between meals.”

“You usually need to see a hygienist every six months for not only treatment but also for oral hygiene advice. We all need a nudge in the right direction from time to time. However, some people need to go more often, especially those with higher treatment needs who need to be extra vigilant in terms of oral hygiene.”

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