Three Reasons Dental Professionals Need Long-Term Disability Coverage
No one can foresee all of the mishaps that will turn up throughout life, but we can learn from the mistakes of others, taking care to prepare for events that disable people every day. Individual and group long-term disability insurance is one item that prudent people buy to prepare for the unexpected.
From car insurance to body-part insurance, individual and group long-term disability policies should safeguard you when you suffer a debilitating illness or injury that prevents work.
Not all illnesses and injuries are covered by every disability policy or plan, but you may find one that suits your needs and budget with a diligent search.
Of course, individuals who work in high-risk professions—such as construction crew workers or police officers—may feel a sense of urgency in acquiring disability insurance. But injury and illness can strike anyone. The risk of injuries may go up with high-risk occupations, but illness is often more sinister, attacking even the healthiest people with disabling symptoms.
But I’m a Dental Professional. Do I Need Individual or Group Long-Term Disability Insurance?
When you look into your busy and physically demanding daily practices and activities, you may realize that you are more at-risk than you initially imagined. For example, when you think of high-risk professional settings, who thinks of a dentist’s office first?
While dentistry doesn’t come with the same risks of firefighting, for example, it comes with more risks of strain and injury due to static posturing, crooking, and craning than many probably realize. If you are suddenly and chronically unable to work and earn income due to an illness or injury and you’re uninsured for a long-term disability, not only will your dental practice suffer dramatically, but huge financial struggles can befall your family. Disability insurance can provide income protection and business overhead reimbursement if a disability occurs.
Dentists and dental professionals are at high risks for suffering specific but nonetheless debilitating injuries. One expert went so far as to say that “the majority of dental hygienists are like slow motion train wrecks; their bodies are ready to derail without much provocation.”
Studies reported in various dental literature have confirmed that dental professionals experience a myriad of stress-related physical and emotional problems. These studies observed a correlation between these problems and incidence of heart disease, ulcers, colitis, hypertension, back pain, neck problems, elbow and hand dysfunction, strains, addictions, and mental illness.
A snapshot of the statistics and findings, as published by the Oral Health Group’s website, follows:
- The suicide rate of dentists is more than twice the rate of the general population and almost three times higher than that of other white collar workers.
- Emotional illness ranks third in order of frequency of health problems amongst dentists, while in the general population it ranks tenth.
- Coronary disease and high blood pressure are 25 percent more prevalent among dentists than in the general population.
- Dentists suffer psycho-neurotic disorders at a rate of 2.5 times greater than physicians.
- The number one killer of dentists is stress-related cardiovascular disease.
- The dental profession in North America loses the numerical equivalent of one large dental school class each year.
These statistics are perhaps surprising, but they indicate the less commonly known risks that dental professionals face for injury and illness. As was hopefully illustrated, disability insurance is often a very prudent decision for all dental professionals.
Three More Reasons Dental Specialists Need Excellent Disability Coverage:
1. Dentistry Can Cause a Pain in the Neck Due to Static Posturing
The positions in which dentists and hygienists often work can add stress to their heads, cores, and even hands, and can contribute to stress on their spines.
Shoulders, arms, necks, and backs are other areas of major health and disability concerns. People may not realize the amount of pain that can result from continuous stress on these areas. If a dental professional develops a permanent disability like cubital tunnel syndrome, the condition can cause extreme and debilitating pain with time. Extreme body pain can leave dental professionals unable to safely and effectively work, resulting in the need to file for long-term disability benefits.
2. The Hip Bone’s Connected to the Back Bone…
As the popular children’s song “Dem Bones” points out, bones throughout our body are connected via a complex musculoskeletal system. Injuries force us to compensate by more heavily relying on other parts of our bodies to perform rigorous daily tasks and activities.
Compensating for one injury can lead to additional injuries and debilitating complications in other parts of the body due to overuse and strain. In many ways, injuries can have snowball effects, and cumulative and repetitive bodily trauma and injury can leave a busy dental professional unable to keep up. Such a professional would need a long-term disability insurance plan they could rely on to pay benefits timely.
3. You Only Have One Set of Hands
Dental professionals rely on their hands more than most of their other body parts. Extracting, filling, polishing, and other sustained dental work places stressful demands on dental professionals’ hands daily, often involving static head posturing and frequent, unrelaxed uses of their hands.
Even with surgery, carpal tunnel issues can linger, intensifying with the focus and concentration needed to do complicated and even routine dental procedures.
These occupational demands can, and do, expose dental professionals to the risk of repetitive stress and strain injuries. As Dr. Bethany Valachi points out, “The most commonly diagnosed disorder of the hand and wrist among dental professionals is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), characterized by pain, numbness and/or tingling into the palm and first three and a half fingers of the hand.”
We hope that you find this information helpful as you consider your disability insurance options. If you find yourself in need of legal assistance for your disability insurance claim or policy analysis, turn to the proven disability insurance lawyers at DarrasLaw.
Make Sure You Understand Your Policy!
Individual and group long-term disability insurance can save the day—when it works. Many times it does, and the insurer shows up right on time. Sometimes policyholders have to fight for the benefits they richly deserve. Knowing what is and is not covered by a plan you’re considering helps you to purchase the disability coverage you need.
Policies come with a lot of language and explanations that may seem overwhelming. Note all definitions and try your best to understand them. Among others terms, make sure to know your insurer’s definition of disabled—it may not comport with the way the term is commonly used. Furthermore, not every policy will cover every injury or illness that incapacitates an individual, such as chronic mental illness. Make sure you know which injuries and illnesses your plan will cover and for how long.
Of course, to receive disability benefits through your insurer, you must first file a timely proof of loss and claim form. Often, the disability claim filing will include specific deadlines and detailed requests for documentation that outlines your disability. These requested documents can include employer statements, treating physician’s statements, claimant’s statements, medical, occupational, vocational, financial, appointment books, and much more.
Disability Insurance Is Not Fool-Proof—but the Top-Rated Lawyers at DarrasLaw Can Help
Individual and group long-term disability insurance should protect you if an illness or injury disables you from doing your important duties. Sometimes, however, claimants run into complicated claim hurdles and issues—such as when their valid disability claims are wrongfully delayed or denied or both. The experienced disability insurance lawyers and bad faith attorneys at DarrasLaw can help wade through the process, explain the nuances, and help bulletproof your claim.
At DarrasLaw, Frank N. Darras, America’s top disability insurance lawyer, leads our team of accomplished attorneys. We know how to take on even the biggest individual and group long-term disability insurance companies—and we win. Mr. Darras and his law firms have won almost $1 billion for insurance clients over the years who were wrongly denied the coverage they deserved, and we’re ready to evaluate your case. Our clients come from throughout the United States, with all kinds of occupations and different amounts of monthly benefits.
Even if you haven’t experienced a bad-faith disability claim delay or wrongful denial, you may have questions about purchasing an individual disability policy. If you’ve recently received an employer-sponsored group disability policy, but you have questions about your coverage, reach out. We also offer an initial, free policy analysis.
If you experience delays or a wrongful denial of your valid disability claim, reach out to us for a free claim consultation and we’ll discuss your legal options. Call us today at (800) 458-4577 or email us. Let us take care of the legal issues so you can focus on managing your injury or illness.