Principal Financial Group takes some of the bite from cancer treatments

July 3, 2008
New dental benefit program reaches members undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

DES MOINES, Iowa--According to the National Cancer Institute, chemotherapy and head/neck radiation therapy put individuals at risk for oral problems like mouth sores, infections and tooth decay.

In order to help members prevent oral complications, the Principal Financial Group is extending extra dental benefits to those undergoing cancer treatments.

"Going through cancer therapy is an especially difficult time, so we want to do all we can to help our members battle cancer by staying healthy, including their oral health," said Theresa McConeghey, assistant vice president of dental products for the Principal Financial Group. "Our dental benefits focus on preventive care to catch dental problems before they become more serious. This program is just one of the many ways we're making our dental products more personalized and flexible for our members."

Under the new program, a dental insurance member currently undergoing chemotherapy or head/neck radiation therapy can receive up to three fluoride treatments and an additional routine cleaning yearly. Fluoride treatments are often given after regular cleanings to help prevent decay by making tooth surfaces more resistant to harmful acid attacks.

This extra protection is especially important for those undergoing cancer treatments because it is much harder for them to heal from dental work, such as extractions. The services are available at no extra cost to the employer or member.

"Those undergoing cancer treatments are especially vulnerable to oral complications from dental procedures, which is why we want to give these individuals every opportunity to seek preventive care," said Mary C. Johnson, DDS, dental director for The Principal. "I encourage everyone, especially those undergoing cancer treatments, to seek regular dental exams for good oral health."

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 at the company's Web site. Members can access information here on procedures, treatments 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.

For more information about dental insurance from The Principal, brokers should contact their Principal Financial Group representative or visit .

For more information, visit Principal Financial Group.

To read more about the Principal Financial Group, go to Principal Financial Group.

To comment on this topic, go to PennWell Dental Community site.

For more information about oral cancer treatment, go to the Oral Cancer Prevention Center at Oral Cancer Prevention Center.