Cost-effectiveness of conventional and self-ligated brackets in treatment of malocclusion : An unregulated market for unregulated teeth
Sammanfattning: Background: All treatments, especially funded by social means, should be subject to cost-effectiveness studies to ensure that the best possible optimization decision it taken between different treatment options. Within the health care area this is a well-developed area. For odontology in general, and orthodontic treatment in specific, this is an unknown territory and cost-effectiveness studies are rare. Malocclusion can be treated with several different systems. The sales pitch from system providers for braces - such as self-ligated brackets (SLB) promises e.g. shorten treatment duration, shorter chairtime, fewer visits, but the purchase cost of SLB systems is higher. Due to lack of results from unbiased RCT there is no guidelines. It is up to the dentist to use the treatment method/system of their own choice. Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to estimate the cost-effectiveness of SLB compared to conventional brackets (CB) to determine which of the two systems that should be considered as the preferred choice of treatment in a publicly funded system. Method: Through an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) calculate the most costeffective system from a societal perspective which includes all costs. To estimate the health care cost, the Reference price list will be used as baseline for production cost for CB. With the use of secondary resources examine the cost driving components to estimate the production cost of SLB. To estimate the non-health care cost a matrix with downtime from work and travel costs was estimated accounting for travel to disclose the magnitude of these cost. The Outcome of the different treatment alternatives will be measured from different perspectives, such as state specific and general profiles. Treatment duration and foregone education will also be investigated. Conclusions: When all production costs for SLB has been adjusted it shows that the total cost of SLB is slightly cheaper. The reduced number of visits required, less chairtime and shorter treatment period are the positive sides of the higher purchase cost of the SLB. Most of the outcome results are not statistically significant, but there is a tendency, with better average values for SLB. SLB seems to be the cheaper and with more effective outcome though not to the extent the provider promises. The difference of treatment duration is minimal and has no significant advantage. The foregone education for the patient is not possible to quantify in monetary terms but could have significant impact depending on different geographical areas but will small differences between the systems. Hence, in lack of unbiased studies and just focusing on average values, SLB dominates CB and should be the preferred choice of treatment until new long-term studies has been published.
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