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Volume 18 , Issue 1
January/February 2005

Pages 20–27

An Economic Evaluation of Implant Treatment in Edentulous Patients—Preliminary Results

Nicola U. Zitzmann, PD Dr Med Dent/Pedram Sendi, PD Dr Med, DSc/Carlo P. Marinello, Dr Med Dent, MS

PMID: 15754888

Purpose: Edentulous patients with denture problems benefit from implant treatment with overdenture prostheses. The aim of this prospective study was to investigate a method of analyzing cost effectiveness in dentistry. As an example, overdenture treatment with two or four implants was compared to the conventional complete denture (CD). Materials and Methods: In a self-selected trial, 20 patients each were treated with implant-retained overdentures (two implants, IRET), implant-supported overdentures (four implants, ISUP), or CDs (control group) in the edentulous mandible. A cost-effectiveness analysis was performed from the patient’s perspective, with a time horizon of 6 months. Direct health-care costs were calculated in Swiss Francs (in 2000), and effects were defined as improvements in perceived chewing ability compared with the baseline value before treatment (measured on a VAS). Point estimates for mean incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were complemented with cost-effectiveness acceptability curves to account for uncertainties associated with costs and effects. Results: Mean incremental costs were CHF 4,329 (IRET-CD), CHF 13,360 (ISUP-CD), and CHF 9,031 (ISUP-IRET); these cost differences were all statistically significant. The mean incremental effects at 6 months were 19% (IRET-CD), 23% (ISUP-CD), and 4% (ISUP-IRET). Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were CHF 228 (IRET-CD), CHF 581 (ISUP-CD), and CHF 2,258 (IRET-ISUP) per percentage increase in chewing ability. Conclusion: From an economic point of view, IRETs were more attractive than ISUPs. The latter were associated with a statistically significant improvement in perceived chewing ability compared to CDs, but at substantially higher costs. Int J Prosthodont 2005;18:20–27.

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