The Costs, Effects, and Benefits of Preventive Dental Care
A Literature Review
This Note presents a review of the literature on preventive dental care in line with the objectives of the National Preventive Dentistry Demonstration Program to provide realistic estimates of the costs and effects of such care among varying populations and local conditions. Examination of five recent studies of preventive dental care discloses widely varying estimates of its costs, effects, and benefits. In general, reported cost results do not account for all resources employed in the provision of care and do not fully document costs that are included. Benefit calculations are usually avoided as too difficult. Cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis is discussed in Sec. II, while measures of costs, effects, and benefits of preventive care are covered in Secs. III, IV, and V, respectively. The several important roles of time are discussed in Sec. VI, and the Note concludes with a brief summary of the literature review's more important lessons.