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Study Questions Cost-Effectiveness of Childrens’ Preventive Dental Care

Posted on Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Birmingham, Alabama — Regular preventive dental check-ups for children have long been recommended, but a new University of Alabama, Birmingham study raises questions about whether they save money in the long run, according to

"We aren't saying preventive visits are bad," said the study's lead author, Bisakha Sen. "What we are really pointing out is that preventive care research has to be done with more care."

By incorporating more sophisticated economic models, the study countered findings from an earlier study showing that preventive care visits led to more restorative care, such as filling cavities or other dental work, said Sen, associate professor in the Department of Healthcare Organization & Policy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The UAB study, published May 28 in the journal Pediatrics actually found preventive care resulted in less restorative work, which is intuitive, Sen said.

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