Company extends dental benefits to those who benefit the most

Members of The Principal Financial Group with heart disease, diabetes or who are pregnant can now receive additional periodontal services or an extra routine or periodontal cleaning.

DES MOINES, Iowa--A healthy mouth means more than a winning smile; it actually impacts overall health.

Recognizing this important link, The Principal Financial Group has introduced dental insurance benefits designed for those at risk for health complications due to periodontal disease. Members with heart disease, diabetes or who are pregnant can now receive additional periodontal services or an extra routine or periodontal cleaning.

"I cannot emphasis enough the importance of good oral health as a way to maintain better overall health and fight off disease," said Theresa McConeghey, dental product director for The Principal. "Since heart disease, diabetes and pregnancy may be complicated if periodontal disease is present, we want to give members with these conditions extra attention and every opportunity to receive appropriate preventive dental care."

Research shows a person with periodontal disease is up to four times more likely to develop heart disease and has twice the prevalence of diabetes than those without the disease. Pregnant women with periodontal disease are at an increased risk for pre-term births and low birth weight babies.

Enhanced dental benefits from The Principal are designed to prevent and detect periodontal disease. These benefits cover scaling and root planing, or an additional routine or periodontal cleaning at no extra cost to the employer.

"Last year we implemented consumer driven dental designs to give employers and their employees more flexibility and choice," said McConeghey. "We're adding to the strength of these designs with new features like extra cleanings to help our members take a more active role in managing their dental health and overall health. I encourage everyone, especially those with these conditions, to seek regular dental exams and cleanings."

The Principal provides a number of interactive tools to help members get the most out of their dental benefits through The Principal Dental Health Edge located on www.principal.com.

Members can access information on procedures, treatment plans, network providers and basic oral health information. The site includes a cost estimator, which calculates dental costs in a given ZIP code and a database of network providers who offer discounted charges and fees.

To learn more about dental solutions offered by The Principal, brokers should contact their Principal Financial Group representative or visit www.principal.com.

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