Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Examining the Cost-effectiveness of Early Dental Visits

Article Title: Examining the Cost-effectiveness of Early Dental Visits
Author(s): Jessica Y Lee et al
Journal: Pediatric Dentistry
Date: 2006 28:2 102-105
Major Topic: Cost-effectiveness of early dental visits
Type of Article: Subject overview
Main Purpose: This article aimed to review the evidence and rationale behind early dental visits
Key Points: (2 lines Max): Children who received their 1st preventive visit earlier in life were more likely to use subsequent preventive services and experienced less dentally related costs.
·      Dental home is where a qualified dental health specialist delivers or supervises primary dental health care that is comprehensive, continuously accessible, family centered, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally competent care
·      Low income, low education, and minority status is associated with lower number of dental visits
·      There are several examples of early intervention in medicine being cost-effective (folic acid supplementation, prenatal care)
·      Data on treatment of children for ECC and under GA suggest that early prevention, especially for families at or below the poverty line who have much higher caries rates for children 3 years and younger, can lead to significant cost savings.
·      Age at the first preventive dental visit has a significantly positive effect on dental expenditures – those children with earlier preventive care have lower dental related costs

Age at First Preventive Visit
Average Dentally Related Cost Per Child
≤1 year
1-2 years
2-3 years
3-4 years
4-5 years

·      Parents taking their children to the dentist earlier may be more motivated to provide good oral care at home
·      Anticipatory guidance provided at early preventive visits may have improved oral health outcomes and reduced costs

Assessment of Article:  Level of Evidence/Comments: III

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