OBJECTIVES: To study total costs, including direct costs (health care service, loss of personal property, medicine and transport) and indirect costs (loss of production or leisure) of dental trauma to children and adolescents with special reference to predictors.
METHODS: The study was based on a random sample of 192 children and adolescents with a dental trauma reported to an insurance company and prospectively followed up by telephone interviews over a period of 2 years.
RESULTS: On average, health care service costs represented 2,955 SEK (SD=3,818) and total costs 4,569 SEK (SD=3,053) for dental trauma to permanent teeth, and 837 SEK (SD=898) and 1,746 SEK (SD=1,183) for trauma to primary teeth. The most extensive type of indirect cost was loss of production or leisure, which averaged 1,286 SEK (SD=1,830) for injuries to permanent teeth and 699 SEK (SD=1,239) for injuries to primary teeth. Multiple regression analysis of demographic and dental injury variables showed that complicated trauma was of special importance to costs for permanent and primary teeth injuries. The average relative increase in total costs to patients and companions for complicated injury to permanent teeth was 140% (95% confidence interval [CI], 66-248%) for patients and 132% (95% CI, 54-249%) for companions. Lack of access to a dental clinic near the place of residence could increase the average total costs of injuries to permanent teeth by 91% for companions (95% CI, 20-204%) and for primary teeth by 134% (95% CI, 38-296%).
CONCLUSIONS: Dental traumas result in both direct and indirect costs, with a predominance of direct costs. The direct costs primarily depend on degree of severity, while indirect costs are mostly due to compromised access to health care service. Traumas to permanent teeth are especially costly and, due to additional maintenance, the care may continue for several years. This study has drawn attention to the significant implications of dental trauma to patient and companion, a new area where further studies are warranted.
2001. Vol. 29, no 2, 150-160 p.
adolescence, child, tooth injuries, costs, permanent dentition, primary dentition, regression analysis