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					                                                 SPRING 2007


DELTA DENTAL OF NEBRASKA
                           EMPLOYER
   UPDATE
                            CUSTOMER SERVICE
 INSIDE                     CONTINUES TO EXCEL
                            We’ve appreciated the positive feedback from groups about our service and would like
                            to share the facts we’ve gathered about our claim processing, financial accuracy and
                            customer service calls.
     Delta Dental
  of Nebraska Adds            Claim Processing Accuracy                  100%
     New Groups
                              Claim Payment Accuracy                     100%

                              Phone Response Time                        10 seconds

                              Phone Abandonment Rate                     1.14%

                              Claim Turnaround                           99.12% in 14 calendar days; 1.92 calendar
     Special Needs                                                       days average processing time
      Dental Care


                            REVITALIZED WEB SITE DESIGN
                            You may have noticed the new look of our Web
                            site at www.deltadentalne.org. Delta Dental Plans
                            Association has revitalized the brand to develop a
       Ask Barb             stronger, more consistent national brand identity.
                            We think you’ll find the new design to be easier to
                            navigate.

                            As always, you may sign in to use our Online
                            Enrollment tool, which allows you to enter and
                            view daily additions, changes and terminations
                            to Delta Dental’s membership file for your
                            employees. You may also view historical data
                            for subscribers and dependents.

                            In addition, you may read, print or save helpful
                            oral health care tips on our Web site. They cover
                            a range of topics including pregnancy and oral
                            health, preventing tooth decay, and aging teeth.
ASK BARB
                                                                   Barbara Jensen is district manager at Delta Dental of Nebraska.
                                                                   If you have questions you would like us to address in Employer
                                                                   Update, please send them to Cathy O’Connell, Editor,
                                                                   at coconnell@deltadentalne.org.


                                Question:                                    Employer Services
                                                                             We want you to get answers to all your post-sale questions
                                Where do I mail payment                      as fast as possible. That’s why Employer Services, a division
                                for bills? Also, how do I get                of our Customer Service department, is dedicated to
                                more ID cards?                               assisting you with important issues including enrollment,
                                                                             billing and benefits. It’s easy—dial 1-866-318-9449,
                                Answer:                                      exclusively for Group Administrators and Brokers,
                                                                             to quickly reach an expert.
                           Billing Address
                           It is important that payment
                           checks with billing statements
                           are mailed to Delta Dental
                           of Nebraska, NW 5767,
P.O. Box 1450, Minneapolis, MN 55485-5767. Please do
not mail checks to the Omaha, Nebraska address. If you
have questions about billing, please call Employer Services
at 1-866-318-9449.

Ordering ID Cards
Please call Customer Service directly at 1-866-827-3319 to
order duplicate or replacement ID cards. You may call
Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. central time.




                   SPECIAL NEEDS DENTAL CARE
Everyone deserves a healthy smile. However, dental care is one of the            • Depending on the individual’s needs and sensitivities, consider
most seriously neglected issues for children and adults with physical,             using an electric toothbrush. Hyposensitive (less than the normal
medical and mental disabilities. Disabling conditions, such as cerebral            ability to respond to stimuli) individuals often process sensory
palsy, multiple sclerosis, mental illness, Down syndrome, genetic                  input in which they need or enjoy more intensity. They often find
disorders, spinal cord injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke or arthritis,         the extra stimulation provided by an electric toothbrush to be a
can make it difficult to accomplish even the most basic dental needs –             positive factor. Whereas, hypersensitive (excessively sensitive)
brushing, flossing, regular dental checkups and getting a balanced                 individuals typically need less intensity and therefore may not
diet needed for healthy teeth.                                                     enjoy an electric toothbrush.
                                                                                 • Tie dental floss into a loop for easier handling or use a
Some tips for good dental hygiene, plus regular checkups, can help                 commercial floss holder.
prevent needless toothaches and other dental problems.
                                                                                 Tips for parents or caregivers
Care beyond the routine                                                          • Before beginning an oral hygiene task, explain what you are about
• With the demands of a disease or disabling condition the oral                     to do. “I am going to brush your teeth now.” Or “I am going to
   health of special care individuals is too often neglected.                       help floss your teeth now.”
• Some medical or oral conditions may require more specialized                   • Work in a slow, calm manner to avoid startling the person.
   care, but most people with disabilities can be successfully treated           • Support the person’s head. Take care to prevent choking
   in a general dental practice.                                                    or gagging when the head is tilted back.
• When special care is needed, ask questions. Does the dentist                   • If the person is unable or unwilling to keep his or her mouth
   have training and experience in treating patients with a certain                 open, a mouth prop made by taping several tongue blades
   condition? Is the dental office accessible to the disabled?                      together might help. Your dentist can teach you how to insert
                                                                                    a mouth prop to avoid injury to teeth.
Toothbrush and dental floss tips
When a dexterity problem or a physical disability makes it hard to               Children with special needs
hold a firm grip on dental hygiene devices, easy modifications can               According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
be made at home.                                                                 approximately 17 percent of American children have some type of
• Enlarge the toothbrush handle with a sponge or rubber ball.                    developmental disability, including speech and language disorders
   Or widen the handle by wrapping it with an elastic bandage                    and learning disabilities. Children with special needs often have
   or adhesive tape.                                                             unique challenges that make dental visits and good oral health habits
• Use a wide elastic band to attach the toothbrush to the hand.                  extremely difficult. For example, many children with autism have
• Lengthen the toothbrush handle with a piece of wood or plastic                 sensory challenges that make touch, smell, sound, and light
   by taping on a ruler, popsicle stick or tongue depressor.                     uncomfortable or even intolerable. Children with autism also have
                                                                                 difficulties with new experiences and people with whom they
                                                                                 are not familiar.
2                                                                                                                          (continued on next page)
SPECIAL NEEDS DENTAL CARE (CONTINUED)                                      • Have the dental professional use a weighted blanket or X-ray
                                                                             vest to provide comfort to the child.
Dental care tips for children with special needs                             Note: Before packing any of these items, parents should contact the
Home care takes just a few minutes and helps prevent needless                dental office to be sure the items will be allowed in the exam area.
dental problems.
• Start regular dental visits by the child’s first birthday – or earlier   Using visual communication tools
   if you think there might be a dental problem.                           Visual communication tools empower children by providing alternative
• Generally, effective brushing and flossing, moderate snacking and        ways of communicating.
   adequate decay-fighting fluoride in the water supply are important      • Create and use a social script to show your child each step of the
   for teeth throughout one’s lifetime.                                       exam process. Contact your dental office before the appointment
• Set up regular professional cleanings and fluoride treatments.              to make sure all steps are represented in the script. (To learn more
   Sealants can prevent tooth decay on the chewing surfaces of molars         about creating social scripts, check out the My Healthy Smile CD
   where most cavities occur.                                                 Rom at www.fraser.org.)
• Pediatric dentists have two years additional training beyond dental      • One common tool is a “break board” which allows the child to
   school and may be a good choice for ongoing care of your special           express the need to take a break during the dental visit. A break
   needs child. Their education also includes behavior management,            board can be a card with a visual symbol (such as a stop sign) that
   sedation and anesthesia techniques for children when necessary             indicates a break or a board with several symbols representing
   to help them feel comfortable during dental treatment.                     different choices (such as a stop light with green, yellow and red
                                                                              options).
Preparing children for a trip to the dentist                               • Another tool is a tolerance rating scale to communicate discomfort.
A trip to the dentist can be a scary or intimidating experience for a         The scale typically has a range of 1 to 5, or 1 to 10. The child points
child. Many children feel anxiety during dental visits when new or            to the number that corresponds with his/her discomfort level, with
uncomfortable procedures are performed. Noises, such as the sound             lower numbers representing less stress. A similar idea would be to
of a drill, can be scary. Not being able to speak (because dental tools       create a scale using a series of faces that are sad, scared or happy –
are in the mouth) can cause additional stress.                                to help the child communicate emotions.
• Plan a pre-appointment visit to the dental office to familiarize the
   child with the setting.                                                 Empowering children can reduce anxiety and prevent negative
• Schedule appointments during less busy times; avoid the                  behavior. Parents should note that it is important for the child to learn
   after-school rush.                                                      how to use any visual supports or communication tools prior to visiting
                                                                           the dentist. If the child has never seen these tools, she/he is unlikely to
A child’s first successful dental visit can initiate a positive and        be able to use them at the visit. Preparation should begin from a few
productive relationship that provides the foundation for a lifetime        weeks to one month prior to the dental visit, but they can be used
of good oral health. It is important for parents and children to feel      throughout the year.
comfortable with dental professionals. If your child does exceptionally
well with a certain hygienist or dentist, ask to see the same person       Sources: American Dental Association: www.ada.org
                                                                           American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry: www.aapd.org
next time. This provides comfort for the child and allows continuity       National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped: www.nfdh.org
in care as the professional becomes familiar with your child’s history     Special Care Dentistry Association: www.scdonline.org
and needs.

Tips to use during the dental visit
Parents and caregivers should always use strategies consistent with
how the child is able to communicate and process sensory input.
Depending upon the child’s needs and sensitivities:
• Use music or movies to calm or distract the child. Some dental
   offices provide audio or video equipment upon request or allow
   families to bring items with them.
• Use earplugs to muffle the noises that cause stress.
• Have the child bring along a favorite toy or object of attachment
   to help alleviate anxieties.



         For more oral health information, please visit
         our Web site at www.deltadentalne.org.


DELTA DENTAL OF NEBRASKA ADDS NEW GROUPS
Delta Dental of Nebraska is pleased to announce the recent                   York Label
addition of three new groups. Kawasaki, with more than                       York Label is the leading manufacturer of pressure sensitive
2,000 enrolled employees, is the second largest group that                   labels used in the consumer products, food, beverage,
has joined DDNE in the last year. Alegent Health, with                       entertainment and healthcare industries. York Label has
more than 8,600 employees at nine hospitals and more                         corporate offices in Omaha, Neb. with nationwide locations.
than 100 clinics, also joined DDNE.                                          They have over 300 enrolled employees.

Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corporation U.S.A.                             Region V Services
Kawasaki manufactures ATV’s and watercraft recreational                      Region V Services serves individuals with mental health
vehicles. They have primary plant locations in Lincoln, Neb.                 disabilities. The primary location for Region V Services is
and Maryville, Mo. Production of general-purpose engines                     Lincoln, Neb. with approximately 240 enrolled employees.
is located in Maryville, Mo.
                                                                                                                                                    3
  FLEXIBLE, SEAMLESS PLAN CHANGES
  It’s renewal season for many
  groups and we want to emphasize
  that if your plan is not fitting
  your needs, we have attractive
  alternative options. When
  reviewing your renewal with
  your broker, please feel free
  to inquire about plan and pricing
  changes, which can be easily
  made. Delta Dental of Nebraska
  will ensure that, with your broker,
  the transition to a new plan
  will be seamless for you.



EmployerUpdate is published for our group clients. Article ideas and questions from readers are welcome.
Publisher: Delta Dental of Nebraska. Send questions or comments to: Cathy O’Connell, Editor, Public Affairs,
Delta Dental of Nebraska, E-mail: coconnell@deltadentalne.org.


                                                                                                                                    DDNE.011.06




                                                                                                                      www.deltadentalne.org

                                                                                                               Omaha, NE 68154
                                                                                                               11235 Davenport St., Suite 105
                                                                                                               Atrium Executive Square
                                                                                                               Delta Dental of Nebraska

				
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