The monitor practice programme: Is non-invasive management of dental caries in private practice cost-effective?

Bradley Curtis, E. Warren, C. Pollicino, R. W. Evans, E. Schwarz, A. Sbaraini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: The objective of this research was to assess the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a non-invasive approach to dental caries management in private dental practice. Methods: Private dental practices from a variety of locations in New South Wales were randomly allocated to either noninvasive management of caries, or continue with usual care. Patients were followed for three years and caries incidence assessed. A patient-level decision analytic model was constructed to assess the cost-effectiveness of the intervention at two years, three years, and hypothetical lifetime. Results: Twenty-two dental practices and 920 patients were recruited. Within the clinical trial there was a significant difference in caries increment favouring non-invasive therapy at both two and three years. Efficacy was independent of age, gender, medical concerns, fluoride history, or previous history of dental caries, in a population of patients attending for treatment in private dental practices, in a variety of locations both urban and rural. Cost per DMFT avoided estimate was A$1287.07 (two years), A$1148.91 (three years) decreasing to A$702.52 in (medium) and A$545.93 (high) risk patients (three years). Conclusions: A joint preventive and non-invasive therapeutic approach appears to be cost-effective in patients at medium and high risk of developing dental caries when compared to the standard care provided by private dental practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-55
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Dental Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Dental caries
  • Evidence-based care
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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