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Volume 28 , Issue 2
March/April 2013

Pages 343–356

Evaluating the Health Economic Implications and Cost-Effectiveness of Dental Implants: A Literature Review

Robert Vogel, DDS/Jayne Smith-Palmer, DPhil/William Valentine, PhD

PMID: 23527335
DOI: 10.11607/jomi.2921

Purpose: To review the available literature on the costs and cost-effectiveness of dental implant-supported or -retained prostheses versus tooth-supported fixed partial denture restorations or mucosa-borne conventional complete or partial dentures. Materials and Methods: A systematic literature review of the PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases was conducted, restricted to studies published in English between November 2000 and November 2010. The searches returned a total of 381 unique hits, and a total of 14 studies on the long-term costs or cost-effectiveness of dental implants were included in the final review. A true systemic review was complicated by the heterogeneity of the conducted studies. Results: For single-tooth replacement, dental implants were generally either cost saving or cost-effective in comparison with tooth replacement using traditional fixed dental prostheses. For patients with mandibular edentulism, dental implants were associated with higher initial costs in comparison with conventional mucosa-borne dentures. However, the consensus among most studies was that, over the long term, dental implants represent a cost-effective treatment option. Additionally, patient acceptance, satisfaction, and willingness to pay for dental implants were high, particularly in elderly edentulous patients. A trend toward improved overall health and decreased health care costs was also reported. Conclusions: For single-tooth replacement, a single implant was a cost-effective treatment option in comparison with a traditional three-unit fixed dental prosthesis. For the replacement of multiple teeth, dental implants (fixed or removable prostheses) were associated with higher initial costs but better improvements in oral health–related quality of life compared with other treatment options. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 2013;28:343–356. doi: 10.11607/jomi.2921

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