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Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants. 2014 May-Jun;29(3):600-7. doi: 10.11607/jomi.3413.

Economic evaluation of single-tooth replacement: dental implant versus fixed partial denture.



This study assessed the cost-effectiveness from a societal perspective of a dental implant compared with a three-unit tooth-supported fixed partial denture (FPD) for the replacement of a single tooth in 2010.


A decision tree was developed to estimate cost-effectiveness over a 10-year period. The survival rates of single-tooth implants and FPDs were extracted from a meta-analysis of single-arm studies. Medical costs included initial treatment costs, maintenance costs, and costs to treat complications. Patient surveys were used to obtain the costs of the initial single-tooth implant or FPD. Maintenance costs and costs to treat complications were based on surveys of seven clinical experts at dental clinics or hospitals. Transportation costs were calculated based on the number of visits for implant or FPD treatment. Patient time costs were estimated using the number of visits and time required, hourly wage, and employment rate. Future costs were discounted by 5% to convert to present values.


The results of a 10-year period model showed that a single dental implant cost US $261 (clinic) to $342 (hospital) more than an FPD and had an average survival rate that was 10.4% higher. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was $2,514 in a clinic and $3,290 in a hospital for a prosthesis in situ for 10 years. The sensitivity analysis showed that initial treatment costs and survival rate influenced the cost-effectiveness. If the cost of an implant were reduced to 80% of the current cost, the implant would become the dominant intervention.


Although the level of evidence for effectiveness is low, and some aspects of single-tooth implants or FPDs, such as satisfaction, were not considered, this study will help patients requiring single-tooth replacement to choose the best treatment option.

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