4 Digital Trends Enhancing Dental Care And Benefits

Sep 21,2022

Read Time 3 Minutes

There are many digital innovations that are reinventing how people access and engage with their dental care. These advances, when delivered through an integrated dental and medical plan, help employers connect their workforce to preventive care and potentially early identification of serious illnesses. Improving patient experiences and health outcomes through integrated benefits can elevate your employees’ overall health and well-being, leading to a healthier and more productive workforce.

Here are four digital trends that are transforming dental care and benefits through a combination of data, augmented intelligence, and connected care models.

  1. Teledentistry Provides The Right Care, At The Right Time

    Consumers are taking charge of their health like never before through virtual care and technology to manage their health. According to a survey conducted by the State of Oregon, 86% of patients said they would recommend teledentistry services to others. Teledentistry is covered by commercial plans the same as in-person visits and offers patients the convenience of receiving dental screenings, consultations, and basic diagnoses through their mobile phone, tablet, or computer. In addition to connecting employees with preventive and maintenance care, teledentisty is effective for locating care and controlling costs in urgent care situations.

    Teledentistry is also a path to accessing at-home teeth aligners and care. Clear aligners are one of the most well-known treatments available through teledentistry. In fact, the global clear aligners market is projected to grow from $2.85 billion in 2021 to $10.04 billion in 2028. Anthem was one of the first to offer an at-home orthodontia program, providing clear aligner therapy that includes virtual oversight of care, teeth whitening, and retainers at completion of treatment.

  2. Meaningful Connections With Augmented Intelligence 

    From diagnosis and treatment planning to practice management and efficiency in claims, augmented intelligence is positioned to transform the way dentists care for their patients, according to the American Dental Association. Augmented intelligence plays a similar role as artificial intelligence (AI). However, augmented intelligence encompasses the human aspect. Rather than performing an assignment for a physician, like in the case of AI, augmented intelligence acts as a tool to assist the physician in the task, streamlining processes and enhancing clinical insights. For patients who regularly visit the dentist, this can also lead to early identification of oral diseases potentially reducing the need for more costly care.

  3. Connecting Patient Care Through Digital Tools 

    Using apps and web-based technology to make appointments, assess personal dental health and chat with dental experts help connect patient care and enhance the overall patient experience. To keep up with an increasingly tech-savvy population, digital tools in healthcare are continuously evolving. For example, Anthem's SydneySM Health app not only helps employees find a dental professional, it also offers a full view of their medical and dental benefits, personalized health alerts to help bridge gaps in care, proactive, risk-based messaging, and a customized health dashboard. Innovative self-service tools allow your employees to truly take control of their dental care and overall healthcare.

  4. An Integrated Healthcare Model For Whole-Person Care

    There is a growing body of research that shows better dental care has a significant impact on overall health. In fact, oral health offers clues about your overall health, contributing to various conditions like cardiovascular disease and pregnancy and birth complications. As technology continues to enhance the dental care industry, it’s important for employers to also connect their dental and health plans. Integrated dental and health plans ensure a more holistic diagnosis, identifying any gaps in care and then following through with proactive treatment for early detection of serious illness. Employers who embrace an integrated dental and medical model for their employees, like Anthem's Whole Health Connection®, will help enhance preventive treatment, employee wellness, and cost savings.

The healthcare landscape continues to evolve through the increasing advancement of digital innovations that support a complete whole health experience. When dentists, doctors, and insurers have access to real-time data, they can create a personalized patient-centered experience with an emphasis on total person care - translating to a healthier workforce and a healthier bottom line.


Sydney Health is offered through an arrangement with Carelon Digital Platforms, a separate company offering mobile application services on behalf of your health plan. ©2020-2022