Media - Press Releases

A healthy smile makes the biggest first impression, say employers

1st July 2016

A smile is the first thing employers notice about a person, according to a survey conducted by employee benefits provider Unum, to mark the rebrand of National Dental Plan (NDP) to Unum Dental. The rebrand follows Unum’s acquisition of NDP back in September 2015 and cements Unum Dental’s position as a valuable addition to the Unum portfolio of employee benefits, products and services.

More than half (51%) of those questioned said they would notice someone’s smile or teeth first, followed by a third of people who said clothing (34%).1 Only 15% of respondents collectively said they would notice either hair colour (7%), shoes (5%) or accents (3%) first.2 

This demonstrates the importance of good dental care, which insurance can help to protect. The Reward & Employee Benefits Association’s 2016 Benefits Shift survey3 showed corporate dental insurance was employees’ most popular flexible benefit choice, while the 2014 Capita Employee Insight Survey4 revealed 44% of employees without access to subsidised corporate dental cover wanted it introduced. Dental insurance is an important element of protection, to be offered as part of a wider strategy also incorporating early intervention and prevention.

With NHS dentist costs rising by 5% this year,5 and NHS dentist appointments increasingly harder to come by, providing dental insurance is a tangible way for employers to support the health and wellbeing of their workforce. It’s a good value employee benefit that is widely and almost universally used. Even routine check-ups with the hygienist and dentist can mean between two to four visits per year. Offered through the workplace, dental insurance can help with routine check-up costs and ease the pain of any unexpected treatment.

Andrew Bower, Managing Director, Unum Dental said: “Our recent survey shows that having a healthy smile matters and having insurance in place to maintain it is crucial, particularly in light of rising NHS costs. "In launching Unum Dental, we’re future-proofing our business. We have a great pedigree, and everything that was great about NDP will stay the same, offering the same premium service with a strong emphasis on prompt, accurate claim settlements. Now through Unum’s extensive network, we can provide more support and guidance to a greater number of customers and employees."

Peter O’Donnell, Chief Executive of Unum UK said: "The acquisition of NDP is the first step in our journey to becoming a broad employee benefits provider, moving beyond Group Risk and into the wider world. NDP’s excellent reputation and history of helping employees maintain good oral health was too good an opportunity for us to miss. Rebranding as Unum Dental from July 1st enables us to combine expertise and experience in the dental industry with extensive knowledge in wider employee benefits - providing more resources and enhancing customer experience and satisfaction. We look forward to working together to grow the dental market."

ENDS

  1. www.unum.co.uk/dental-questionnaire-2016
  2. www.unum.co.uk/dental-questionnaire-2016
  3. The Reward & Employee Benefits Association’s 2016 Benefits Shift Survey
  4. Capita Employee Survey, 2014
  5. Dental charges in England set to increase by 5%, The Independent, 11 March 2016
Press and media enquiries