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The value-for money of preventing and managing periodontitis: Opportunities and challenges.

This article gives an overview of the societal and economic aspects of periodontitis and periodontal care. Despite its largely preventable nature, periodontitis is highly prevalent worldwide and imposes a substantial health and economic burden on individuals and society as a whole. The worldwide estimated direct treatment costs and productivity losses due to periodontitis (including for periodontitis-related tooth loss) amounted to US$ 186 billion and US$ 142 billion in 2019, respectively. The burden of periodontitis is particularly evident in low and disadvantaged populations. Smoking, dietary habits, and presence of systemic diseases along with social and commercial determinants are considered as risk factors for the periodontal diseases. The cost-effectiveness of preventing and managing periodontitis has been explored in several studies but it has been highlighted that there is scope for improvement in defining the methodology and quality of reporting of such studies. A recent report by The Economist Intelligence Unit examined the cost-effectiveness of interventions to prevent and manage periodontal diseases, suggesting that prevention of periodontitis through prevention of gingivitis by means of individual home care would be more cost-efficient than four other examined approaches. Future research in this field is recommended to further decipher the economic burden of periodontitis to society and to assess the value for money of alternative approaches to address periodontitis with particular emphasis on public health preventive strategies and intersectoral care approaches that address the common risk factors of periodontitis and other non-communicable diseases simultaneously.

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