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Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2018 Feb;46(1):38-46. doi: 10.1111/cdoe.12326. Epub 2017 Sep 6.

Economic evaluation of dental sealants: A systematic literature review.

Author information

1
Department of Health Policy & Management, Texas A&M University School of Public Health, College Station, TX, USA.
2
Institute of Public Health, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan.
3
Office of Public Health Studies, Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work, University of Hawaiì at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI, USA.
4
Harvard School of Public Health, François-Xavier Bagnoud Center For Health and Human Rights, Boston, MA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To systematically review the literature on economic evaluations of dental sealants and examine the costs and effectiveness of caries prevention using sealants.

METHODS:

Of 21 full-text articles examined, a total of 13 were included in this study. These studies are grouped by the type of intervention as follows: (i) sealants compared with no sealants; (ii) sealants compared with other forms of caries prevention; (iii) resin-based sealants compared with glass-ionomer sealants; (iv) different sealing strategies in primary teeth; (v) different sealing strategies in permanent teeth; and (vi) sealants based on school- or clinic-based setting of delivery. All currency is reported in constant 2010 US$.

RESULTS:

Cost-effectiveness analyses differed due to varying study designs, assumptions, sealant delivery settings, outcomes, caries risk assessment and study durations. Findings varied on the cost-effectiveness of sealants compared with other caries-preventive strategies. Under the assumption of equal caries risk, always sealing primary molars appeared to be the most effective strategy, whereas risk-based sealing was the optimal strategy with differing caries risk. Studies that assessed sealing strategies in permanent teeth reported that risk-based sealing was more cost-effective than not sealing, but they differed on the cost-effectiveness of risk-based seal compared with non-risk-based seal. Sealants delivered in school settings had mixed results on costs but were as equally effective as sealants delivered in private practices.

CONCLUSIONS:

The cost-effectiveness of sealants is dependent on the conditions of delivery. The list of cost-effectiveness ratios for each intervention can support policy makers to estimate expected returns on their investments in dental sealants.

KEYWORDS:

cost analysis; cost-benefit analysis; cost-effectiveness analysis; economic evaluation; pit and fissure sealants

PMID:
28876472
DOI:
10.1111/cdoe.12326
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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