J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2014 Jun;38(2):118-128.

Cost-benefit analysis of a water fluoridation program for 11 years in Jinju, Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Pusan National University School of Dentistry, Yangsan, Korea. jbomkim@pusan.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Preventive and Social Dentistry, Seoul National University School of Dentistry, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to estimate the economic costs and benefits of a water fluoridation program in the city of Jinju, Korea.
METHODS
In 2009, dental surveys were conducted on 2,315 children aged 6-12 years in Jinju, which had been fluoridated for 11 years. The decayed/missing/filled teeth (DMFT) scores of children in Jinju were compared to the DMFT scores of same-aged children in non-fluoridated small- and medium-sized cities in the fourth Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted from 2007 to 2009 by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The reduced number of decayed permanent teeth by the water fluoridation program was estimated as the difference between the DMFT scores of children in Jinju and those in non-fluoridated small- and medium-sized cities. The economic benefits were estimated by the savings from reduced dental treatment costs by using the reduced number of decayed permanent teeth from the water fluoridation program. All annual costs and benefits were calculated from 1998 to 2009. The social rate and untreated rate of decayed teeth were applied as 3% and 20%, respectively. The annual benefit-cost ratio was estimated by using the annual benefits and cumulative program costs.
RESULTS
The economic benefit in 2009 from a water fluoridation program was estimated as 57,496,000,000 Korean Won (KRW), and the cumulative cost in 2009 was estimated as 1,387,000,000 KRW. The net present value in 2009 from a water fluoridation program was 56,109,000,000 KRW. The benefit-cost ratio in 2009 was estimated as 41.4.
CONCLUSIONS
The economic benefit of a water fluoridation program in Jinju city was evaluated as excellent.

Keyword

Benefit; Cost; Dental caries; DMFT index; Fluoridation; Prevention
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