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The cost effectiveness of tooth preservation vs implant placement in severe periodontal disease patients: a systematic review.

BACKGROUND: The prevalence and the economic burden of periodontal disease are high. To save or replace diseased teeth, an objective prognosis assessment using the long-term predictability of the various treatment options should be performed. As dental implants have become a treatment of choice for replacing missing teeth, the number of implant failures and complications has also increased.

OBJECTIVES: To compare the cost-effectiveness of saving and maintaining the teeth vs. replacing them with dental implants in patients with severe periodontal disease (with hopeless or questionable teeth).

METHODS: A database search was conducted using Medline (OVID), EMBASE, Web of Science, CINAHL electronic sources until July 2023. Two reviewers reviewed the papers in accordance with the specific selection criteria after choosing the abstracts that met the initial selection criterion for full article retrieval.

RESULTS: 12 articles were included, of which 9 articles discussed cost-effectiveness of preserving teeth in severe periodontal disease and 3 articles discussed the effectiveness of implants that replaced the periodontally compromised teeth. It was found that placing and maintaining implants was more costly than properly treating and maintaining periodontally compromised teeth. Supportive periodontal treatment contributed the most to the cost during the periodontal treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: Implants are an effective choice to replace missing teeth, however, these are not permanent, present complications and require strict maintenance. Thus, when deciding whether to maintain a periodontally compromised tooth or to replace it with a dental implant, in terms of cost effectiveness, implant maintenance cost as well as the cost associated with treating implant complications should be considered. This cost seems to surpass the cost of treatment and maintenance of periodontally compromised teeth.

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