Background. Periodontal treatment is costly. The authors assessed the potential economic impact of a new periodontal chemotherapeutic, testing the hypothesis that its adjunctive use would result in reduced periodontal surgical needs. Methods. An economic model estimated treatment needs following two clinical trials of the adjunctive use of a chlorhexidine, or CHX, -containing chip compared with scaling and root planing, or SRP, alone. Needs were based on periodontal status at nine months and a probabilistic algorithm; costs were assigned on the basis of a national dental survey and an average wholesale price of the CHX chip. Results. The base case model projected significantly more maintenance procedures and significantly fewer periodontal surgical procedures for patients treated with SRP and the CHX chip compared with patients who were treated with SRP alone (54.4 percent vs. 46.4 percent, P = .014; 29.2 percent vs. 35.5 percent, P = .015, respectively). Average total costs of care for patients treated with SRP and CHX chip were $737 ± $244 compared with $734 ± $239 for patients treated with SRP alone. Sensitivity analyses to account for variations in practice patterns did not appreciably alter the results. When data were analyzed after only three or six months of treatment, the significant differences in treatment needs disappeared. Conclusions. The CHX chip is a new, apparently cost-effective treatment option for nonsurgical periodontal therapy. Adjunctive use of the CHX chip could reduce periodontal surgical needs significantly at little or no additional cost. Clinical Implications. Results suggest that incorporating the CHX chip into routine practice requires a new algorithm for management of periodontal disease. To obtain full clinical benefit, treatment needs to be continued for nine months.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||The Journal of the American Dental Association|
|State||Published - Jun 1999|
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