The Cost of Dental Implants as Compared to That of Conventional Strategies
Paul van der Wijk, MSc, Jelte Bouma, PhD, Marinus A. J. van Waas, DDS, PhD, Robert P. van Oort, DDS, PhD, Frans F. H. Rutten, PhD.
The effectiveness of dental implants is widely studied, especially in terms of their clinical outcomes. However, from the policymakers point of view, variables other than safety and efficacy, such as the costs and effectiveness of dental implants as compared to other treatment alternatives, are vital in decision making. This paper compares the costs of different treatment strategies in a randomized clinical trial in patients with resorbed mandibles and persistent problems with their conventional dentures: treatment with a mandibular overdenture on permucosal dental implants, an overdenture on a transmandibular implant, new dentures after preprosthetic surgery, and new dentures only. Data were gathered on an individual patient level to gain insight into specific cost episodes. Direct costs were subdivided into labor, material, technique, and overhead. Data concerning these components were gathered during the consecutive treatment phases in the first year. Results show that the resources used to treat a patient with an overdenture supported by a transmandibular implant are seven times those of a complete new set of dentures. Comparison of the cost ratio of an implant-retained overdenture supported by permucosal implants and conventional new prostheses proves less unfavorable: 1:3. New dentures after preprosthetic surgery are almost as expensive as treatment with permucosal implants. (INT J ORAL MAXILLOFAC IMPLANTS 1998;13:546–553) Key words: costs, dental implants, dentures