The High Costs of Dental Care Stress 41% of Patients the Most

Dentistry Today


The cost of dental care including out of pocket costs for procedures are the top stressor for 41% of adults when it comes to their oral health, according to an online poll of 1,229 working adults in the United States conducted by Unum in September. This figure was higher among women (46%) than men (37%) and among workers ages 50 to 64 (45%).

“It’s no surprise that the thought of going to the dentist evokes anxiety, but cost doesn’t need to be the trigger,” said Amy Marko, senior vice president of dental and vision products for Unum.

“Dental insurance plans typically cover preventive care costs and significantly reduce the cost of other dental procedures, making oral health much more affordable. We also find that employees with dental insurance are more likely to use their dental benefits and seek preventive care, which can prevent bigger health issues down the road,” Marko said.

Also, 31% indicated cost as the primary reason why they avoid going to the dentist, followed by anxiety (8%) and the anticipated pain of treatment (8%). When asked about the top benefits of having dental insurance, 52% cited regular, covered cleanings and checkups, followed by coverage of routine dental care such as fillings and root canals (37%), peace of mind (29%), and the importance of oral health as part of their overall health (25%).

Millions of American workers enroll in employee benefits each fall. According to the Society for Human Resources Management, dental insurance is one of the top workplace benefits, with 97% of employers offering dental coverage.

Also, Unum says, group policies purchased through the workplace are usually less expensive than individually purchased plans and generally pay for routine cleanings and exams and offer significant discounts for the costs of common procedures such as fillings, crowns, and root canals.

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