Delta Dental of California Adds Implant Coverage to Standard Programs and Additional Benefits for Expectant Mothers

July 17, 2007

San Francisco, CA —Delta Dental of California announced today that it has added two additional benefits to its standard commercial fee-for-service programs: implant coverage and additional cleanings and oral exams for pregnant women.

The enhanced benefits are now being offered to all new commercial client groups, as well as to client groups renewing their Delta Dental Premier and Delta Dental PPO contracts at no additional cost for fully insured clients.

Implant coverage, which for many years has been available as a rider, will now be included as a standard benefit. Benefits for pregnant women include an additional oral exam as well as an additional cleaning or, for patients with signs of periodontal disease, additional periodontal scaling/root planing of up to all four quadrants.

"By offering implant coverage as a standard benefit, we are enabling patients to have more choices to replace lost teeth,” said Marilynn Belek, DMD, Delta Dental’s executive vice president and chief dental officer. “The efficacy of implants is a proven, viable clinical alternative, and this coverage helps make it more affordable for more people."

Dr. Belek noted that the additional benefits for pregnant women were added because, while it has not been conclusively proven that periodontal disease directly results in lower-weight, pre-term babies, an extra cleaning and oral exam are both safe and beneficial to pregnant women’s oral health.

"Meanwhile, we continue to monitor the results of other evidence-based studies to ensure that any benefits we add are both cost-effective and beneficial to our enrollees and customers," she said.

The new benefits, currently available to client groups headquartered in California, eventually will be rolled out to its affiliate companies’ clients in 15 other states plus the District of Columbia, pending local regulatory approvals.

Delta Dental of California is part of a San Francisco-based holding company system that collectively serves 22 million enrollees in both commercial and government-sponsored programs in 16 states plus the District of Columbia. It is a member of the Delta Dental Plans Association, whose member companies cooperate on programs that today cover more than 50 million enrollees nationwide.

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