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    Are robots with drills the future of dental insurance?

    17 January 2023

    Punter Southall Aspire

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    2 minute read

    Online consultation now a feature of corporate dental cover

    In a world where automation is transformation, what used to be simply human exchanges have taken on a different dimension.

    For example, is there a more terrifying thought than a robo-dentist, a phrase which, for those of us of a certain age and certain cinematic taste, will instantly recall the opening scene in the original Robocop.

    Presented as the manufactured answer to a crime-swamped, dystopian Detroit, the hulking robot police officer is unveiled and demonstrated at a corporate launch.

    Within seconds it malfunctions and guns down the assembled throng of the great and good. Thus, the scene is set for its cyborg (half-human, half-machine) replacement and the following two films in the 1987 trilogy.

    So if you’re slightly fearful of dentists and too young to remember this classic (not the inferior 2014 remake), reading this probably isn’t selling the march of technology that has now reached the domain of the drill and childhood memories of dread.

    In a sense, that’s deliberate because we’re not directly selling. What we want to do is to talk through how our consultancy team can help put in place the right kind of employee dental cover.

    As far as we’re concerned, if we opened this post with the transparent but not exactly gripping: how do you buy the right dental insurance for your company? Or: five points to consider for employee dental insurance, it’s unlikely you’ll have read down even this far.

    We want to make the point that instead of simply listing the benefits of being able to be seen by the dentist when you really need to be (does anyone go just because they fancy it?) for a surprisingly modest sum, we want to be able to shape the right dental insurance for your business.

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    Even though there are relatively few health insurer providers – eight major ones – there are a great many touch points by which their policies can be accessed.

    In short, it’s a bit of a minefield to put in place the right level, depth and detail of cover for your employees, be that dental insurance or beyond.

    Happily, it’s very familiar territory for us. We can put your mind at rest when it comes to the 21st century application of automation to molar, incisor or gum. (Spoiler alert: robo-dentist is more a term for enhanced technology and virtual check-ups and inspections, rather than R2D2 pinning you to the chair while extending a pair of menacing-looking pliers).

    If introducing our view in this way was off-script, let’s look at the main attraction.

    There are different types of dental insurance. Some will pay 80 per cent of the cost of treatment up to a specified amount, while others set individual limits. There are various levels of cover, the lowest designed for the cost of NHS fees and the higher levels to take care of or contribute towards the full cost of private treatment.

    Not only can you provide peace of mind for employees and their families, but timely check-ups mean prompt diagnosis and efficient after-care which ought to equal less time taken off, less time worrying about where to find treatment and, arguably, less time spent in discomfort or pain.

    And you can share the risk by either asking your people to pay up-front and then claim back most of the cost, known as a cash-plan, or assess other ways of offering what’s likely to be seen as a valuable benefit.

    Or you can let us do it. We’ve already helped many other employers to put this in place for their staff. And we guarantee human contact before we get anywhere near treatment by technology.

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    In a world where automation is transformation, what used to be simply human exchanges have taken on a different dimension.

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