We’re Taking Preventive Care to the Next Level

Everyone knows that preventive care is the key to a healthy mouth. But, among our 3.1 million members, 39 percent of them have not had a preventive care visit.

It’s a growing problem, and it’s starting to show. Another study from the Center for Disease Control shows over 30 percent of adults have untreated cavities - an entirely preventable condition that can lead to costly and painful health complications when ignored.

This statistic got us thinking about the different obstacles our members face before they even step foot inside the dentist office. To learn more, we used market research to identify the primary barriers members face when trying to receive preventive dental care.

primary barriers members face

We know that each of our group clients are fully invested in the health of their employees, and we wanted to find a way to help them encourage healthy oral health behaviors.

The Preventive Journey Begins

Based on our research, we hypothesized that through an email program we could increase preventive care utilization by delivering informational resources that help members overcome the primary barriers to dental care. To do this, our team first had to build a sophisticated integration of member data to identify those who had received no preventive care in the previous 12 months. After that, we were able to begin the preventive care email journey which spans over a period of three months and responds to user actions and behaviors.

How the Preventive Program Works

 Preventive Program 3 steps

The Results

In general we saw a tremendous increase in member engagement through our preventive email journey, validating our original hypothesis that we can influence health outcomes for members with timely and relevant communication. The results breakdown like this:

email journey statistics

What's Next?

The team at Delta Dental of Washington is already at work designing email journeys for members who haven’t received preventive dental care for 6-12 months.

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1 Delta Dental Policy Perspectives, 7/2017
2 Healthcentric Dental Action Report, 12/2018