Two-fifths of employees missed work to deal with a dental emergency

Two-fifths (40%) of employees had to take time off work due to a dental emergency in the last year*, according to the latest Simplyhealth Consumer Oral Health Survey.

Research from the health plans provider also reveals it is estimated that the equivalent of almost a working day (7.6 hours) was lost because employees had to take time away from the office to attend emergency dental appointments**.

In addition, staff are not just having to take time off for their own dental treatments, more than half (55%) of employees missed work to sort a dental emergency for their child or children*, taking an average of 7.1 hours off work because of appointments**.

Pam Whelan, Director of Corporate at Simplyhealth
Suffering with a dental emergency, such as toothache or cracked tooth, can be incredibly painful and when employees are not feeling their best, they won’t be able to perform at their best in work. The health of your teeth and gums can have a significant impact on overall wellbeing, so it’s important to look after your oral health.

Employers can play a role in supporting their employees by providing dental payment plans, which make it easy for employees to get the dental treatments they need, regardless of whether they receive NHS or private dentistry care. The plans enable access to treatment quickly, which helps employees take a proactive and preventative approach to their own health and wellbeing, and in turn supports the business by helping to reduce absence.
Pam Whelan, Director of Corporate at Simplyhealth

The research also revealed only three-quarters (73%) of UK adults brush their teeth twice a day or more as recommended by dentists and a third (33%) say they never floss. In spite of a greater awareness of the link between oral health and general health, with 75% of people agreeing that poor oral health can have a significant impact on general health, only 20% think oral health can be linked to heart disease and a mere 13% think it can be linked to diabetes.

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Notes to Editors

Simplyhealth Consumer Oral Health Survey 2019. Online survey of 5083 adults conducted by Dynata (previously Research Now SSI) on behalf of Simplyhealth, undertaken 24 January – 5 February 2019. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (18+).

*Source: Simplyhealth/ResearchNow survey, February 2019. All UK adults who had a dental emergency, for themselves N= 824, for their children N = 234, for other dependents N = 185

**Source: Simplyhealth/ResearchNow survey, February 2019. All UK adults who had a to take time off for a dental emergency, for themselves N= 325, for their children N = 128, for other dependents N = 53

Further information from: Laura Miller, Communications Specialist Tel: 0344 5792379 Email:

About Simplyhealth

Since 1872 we’ve been helping people get healthcare through our health plans, charity partnerships and by being a voice in healthcare.

Today we’re delighted to be the UK’s leading provider of health plans, dental plans and pet health plans, which help individuals, families, employees and pets to get support with their health when they need it.

Our health plans enable businesses to look after their employees, and make it easy for people to maintain their health and wellbeing, so they can look after business. We offer two types of preventative health plans:

- Optimise: our health plan, covering a range of treatments including visits to the optician, dentist, 24/7 GP services and more

- Denplan: our dental plan, covering all clinically necessary treatments, routine examinations, hygiene treatments, plus cover for accidents and emergencies

We don’t have shareholders which means we are totally focused on making sure no one goes without the healthcare support they need, and why we are passionate about being a voice in healthcare and partnering with charities to reduce health inequality. Last year we donated £900,000 to our charity partners. Additionally, our partnership with the Simplyhealth Great Run Series raised over £40 million for charitable causes. To find out more visit