Purpose: Conventional dentures will remain the only treatment available to most edentulous people for the foreseeable future. In this study, we compared the efficiency of two methods of making complete conventional dentures-the traditional academic standard (T) and a simplified technique (S) used in private practice. We have previously shown that they produce similar levels of patient satisfaction and denture quality.
Materials and methods: Data were gathered during a randomized controlled clinical trial of 122 subjects from initial examination until 6-month follow-up. For this report, the direct costs of providing one set of conventional complete dentures by T or S techniques were estimated. All materials used were recorded and their cost was calculated in Canadian dollars (CAN$). The costs of fabrication in an outside laboratory were added. Clinician's labor time was recorded for every procedure. Between-group comparisons for each clinical procedure were carried out with independent t-tests. The number of patients in each group who needed postdelivery treatment was compared with Chi-square tests. The effect of group assignment and of treatment difficulty on outcomes was analyzed with multiple regression analysis.
Results: The mean total cost of the T method was significantly greater than S (CAN$166.3; p < 0.001), and clinicians spent 90 minutes longer (p < 0.001) on clinical care. The difficulty of the case had no significant influence on outcomes.
Conclusions: The results indicate that the S method is the more cost-efficient method and that there are no negative consequences that detract from the cost savings.
© 2010 by The American College of Prosthodontists.