Reassessment of the effect of fluoridation on cost of dental treatment among Scottish schoolchildren

Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 1989 Apr;17(2):79-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0528.1989.tb00593.x.


The present study, which is a repeat of a 1980 study, compares the dental treatment needs of 5, 10, and 15-yr-old life-time residents of a fluoridated town (Stranraer) and non-fluoridated town (Annan). Although fluoridation ceased in July 1983, the cost of all dental treatment in 1986 was 57% lower for 5-yr-olds in the fluoride area compared with the non-fluoride one. The corresponding differences in costs for 10- and 15-yr-old groups were 36% and 63%, respectively. Comparison with the 1980 results showed a 21% drop in the cost of all treatment for 5-yr-olds in Annan and a 4% drop in 10-yr-olds. The corresponding comparison for Stranraer 5-yr-olds showed a 43% reduction in the cost of all treatment. The 10-yr-old group in Stranraer showed a 21% increase in the cost of all treatment and a 115% increase in the cost of restorations for caries. The implications of these findings and the possible link with the cessation of water fluoridation are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Dental Care / economics*
  • Dental Caries / economics
  • Dental Caries / therapy
  • Dental Restoration, Permanent / economics
  • Fluoridation*
  • Humans
  • Scotland
  • Tooth Extraction / economics