Obtaining Oral Care Services Can Influence Self-Confidence

January 13, 2020
MHE Staff
MHE Staff

Recent Cigna study found negative oral health wellness impacts a person’s self-esteem, especially when faced with obstacles maintaining oral care.

More than 25% of American adults are insecure about their oral health, according to a recent Cigna survey.

The study revealed an important correlation between routine dental care and self-confidence: 75% of individuals who visit the dentist regularly-at least twice a year-report very good self-confidence.

Compiled of 1,000 U.S. adults 18 years and older, the survey revealed a generational divide in oral health perceptions and dental care.

According to a news release from Cigna Dental Health, nearly three-quarters of Generation Z, those born between 1996 and 2010, say their oral health could be improved as compared with only half of Baby Boomers and older generations.

Younger generations are also more likely to associate oral health with confidence and social comfort, yet older generations visit the dentist more frequently.

“At Cigna, we are continually examining the intrinsic connection between body and mind and this survey clearly confirms oral health has an impact on self-esteem,” says Fred Scardellette, vice president of dental and vision business at Cigna. “Our goal is to help our customers live their healthiest and most vital lives, which correlates to how our customers think and feel about themselves. Every day, our team of dental experts are accelerating innovation to make dental care more personal, convenient and affordable for our customers.”

Related: Survey Shows U.S. Oral Health System is Failing

The survey also uncovered obstacles to maintaining oral care. Work schedules and difficulty getting to the dentist’s office were cited as the top challenges among those who the dentist inconvenient.

In addition, the data revealed the desire for on-site dental appointments at the workplace and virtual visits, predominantly among Millennials and Generation Z.

How Employers Can Make a Difference

The Cigna Dental Health Connect solution offers clinical programs designed to help employers provide meaningful dental care services tailored for their workforce, wherever they are in their health journey.

These programs are aimed at improving health through convenient access to oral care and reducing the risk of complications stemming from oral health disease include:

  • Onsite care: Cigna brings in-network dental care providers right to the workplace making dental check-ups and cleanings more convenient than ever.

  • Dental outreach program: Cigna engages employees with a chronic health condition that is associated with gum disease and have not seen a dentist in more than seven months to help them stay on top of their preventive care and avoid complications with their medical condition.

  • Safe prescribing measures: Cigna works together with dental providers through monitoring, coaching and safe prescribing protocols, helping to protect employees from misuse, addiction and overdose.

  • Chronic condition support: For employees with certain chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease, or for those who are pregnant, the Cigna Dental Oral Health Integration Program offers reimbursement of out of pocket costs for certain dental services to reduce the impact gum disease can have on their condition.  

“Cigna Dental Health Connect wraps our customers in care through a model that provides convenient preventive dental care solutions, proactively intervenes, and ensures access to high quality dental care,” says Cary Sun, chief dental officer at Cigna. “Through this program, we are empowering all our customers to improve their oral health and hopefully, live more confidently every day.”