Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Dental Sealants versus Fluoride Varnish in a School-Based Setting

Matthew Neidell, Barbara Shearer, Ira B. Lamster
2016 Caries Research  
reducing the development of new carious lesions on occlusal surfaces [Hiiri et al., 2010] . Such comparisons, Abstract While sealants are more effective than fluoride varnish in reducing the development of new carious lesions on occlusal surfaces, and a course of treatment requires fewer clinical visits, they are more expensive per application. This analysis assessed which treatment is more cost-effective. We estimate the costs of sealants and fluoride varnish over a 4-year period in a
more » ... eriod in a school-based setting, and compare this to existing estimates of the relative benefits in terms of caries reduction to calculate the relative cost-effectiveness of these two preventive treatments. In our base case scenario, varnish is more cost-effective in preventing caries. Allowing for caries benefits to nonocclusal surfaces further improves the cost-effectiveness of varnish. Although we found that varnish is more cost-effective, the results are context specific. Sealants become equally cost-effective if a dental hygienist applies the sealants instead of a dentist, while varnish becomes increasingly cost-effective when making comparisons outside of a traditional dental clinic setting.
doi:10.1159/000439091 pmid:27100884 fatcat:cycltew5xfctxk2vlvtgcfuu2m