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Delta Dental of Illinois Introduces 'Smile Smart For Your Health'

Enhanced Benefits Program Linking Oral Health and Overall Health

LISLE, Ill., Sept. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Dental of Illinois is offering a new benefits program to its clients and prospective clients. The program, "Smile Smart for Your Health," integrates oral health and overall health to offer specific benefits for persons who have specific health conditions, including diabetes, pregnancy, and a history of periodontal disease or surgery.


"Smile Smart for Your Health" is based on the emerging science of evidence-based dentistry -- a set of principles and methods intended to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that clinical decisions, guidelines and other types of policies are based on, and consistent with, good evidence of effectiveness and benefit. As understanding of the connection between oral health and overall health grows, evidence-based dentistry solutions, such as "Smile Smart for Your Health," bridge the gap between dentistry and medical treatment.

"After a comprehensive review of the extensive scientific research available, we are offering 'Smile Smart for Your Health' to help improve the oral health of our enrollees, and hopefully, their overall health too," said Robert E. Dennison, D.M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Delta Dental of Illinois. "And 'Smile Smart for Your Health' can help employers and groups lower their overall costs by directing preventive care where it's needed most -- in addition to promoting medical cost savings." Dennision adds, "Delta Dental of Illinois will continue to explore other evidence-based dentistry offerings and examine emerging research and will likely add components to 'Smile Smart for Your Health' as research supports."

"Smile Smart for Your Health" underscores our commitment to improving the oral health of the communities we serve. Evidence-based dentistry solutions are truly the next stage in quality patient care -- using the latest scientific evidence to target the relationship between oral disease and other medical conditions and improve medical outcomes for at-risk patients," said Dr. Katina Morelli, DDS, Dental Director for Delta Dental of Illinois.

Delta Dental of Illinois added "Smile Smart for Your Health" to the majority of its existing fully insured clients with few exceptions and is offering it as an option to its self-insured clients. Beginning September 1, 2007, it is automatically included in the dental benefit plans it offers all prospective clients.

Specific enhanced coverage includes:

-- Diabetics

-- Four periodontal maintenance visits in a year, or two general

cleaning and two periodontal maintenance visits in a year.

-- Pregnancy

-- One additional general cleaning or one periodontal maintenance

visit during the time of pregnancy.

-- Periodontal Conditions

-- Four periodontal maintenance visits in a year, or two general

cleaning and two periodontal visits in a year.

-- Two applications of topical fluoride varnish in a year, following

periodontal surgery.

-- Oral Cancer

-- Coverage for OralCDx brush biopsy(*), a tool in identifying

precancerous/cancerous cells in the mouth. This method of detection

is approved by the American Dental Association.

Eligibility & Enrollment

Enrollees and their dentists can self-report a specific medical condition. Enrollees and dentists can check eligibility and if eligible, enroll in the "Smile Smart for Your Health" Enhanced Benefits Program through the Delta Dental of Illinois Web site -- Enrollees use the Subscriber Connection and dentists use the Dentist Connection (both require registration). More information about "Smile Smart for Your Health" is available on Delta Dental of Illinois' Web site.

(*) OralCDx brush biopsy is a standard coverage under Delta Dental of

Illinois' oral surgery plans.

Delta Dental of Illinois (DDIL) is a not-for-profit dental service corporation specializing in providing comprehensive, easy-to-use and cost-effective benefits to over one million employees and family members in more than 3,200 employee groups throughout Illinois. Based in Lisle, Ill., DDIL offers an array of extensive nationwide network-based managed fee-for-service, PPO and dental HMO plans.

SOURCE Delta Dental of Illinois
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