Established in 1969, Parsippany-based Delta Dental of New Jersey provides or administers dental benefits for 1.7 million people in New Jersey and Connecticut. And its charitable arm awards $1 million in grants each year to dental clinics, hospitals, and health centers that provide dental care to underserved children, developmentally disabled persons, seniors, and veterans. The foundation also provides grants to support dental hygiene and dental assisting scholarships, along with dental education programs for children. The company recently donated $250,000 to help three food banks in New Jersey alleviate food insecurity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this installment of NJBIZ Conversations, Editor Jeff Kanige spoke with Delta Dental CEO Dennis Wilson about that gift, the company’s operations during the outbreak and why the dental insurance market is likely to grow substantially over the next several years.
“Dental benefits, particularly as it’s becoming more and more clear the connectivity between oral health and systemic medical health – cancers, diabetes coronary artery maladies — are becoming so connected,” he said. “The body starts at the oral cavity, if you will, so the realization of that plus the realization that hey everybody likes and deserves a healthy smile, I mean two of us are on Zoom here smiling at each other, it’s great to have a nice set of teeth to show off. That has not changed. We’re really working on finding ways to cover the 20% of our population that either has inadequate or no dental benefits at all so that’s a work in progress for us and we intend to climb that mountain.” Watch the full interview here.