Evaluating Health and Economic Outcomes for Preventing Caries Risk in Underserved Children

Project start and end date: 9/11/2017 - 7/31/2023

Dental caries (tooth decay) is the most prevalent chronic disease of childhood despite being largely preventable. Untreated caries results in pain, loss of tooth structure, and infection of peridental tissues, with lasting effects on function, growth, and development. Restoring caries places an estimated $120 billion economic burden on society.

To understand the economic value of alternative dental caries treatment and prevention strategies.

Research Topics & Methods:
Using simulation modeling, we will predict long-term health and economic outcomes for a cohort of 1-year-old children. By simulating different screening and prevention programs through adolescence, we can assess additional costs, cost savings, and improvements in tooth health for population level screening or targeted screening programs.

Our research findings will provide an understanding of the burden of disease prevented by providing caries-prevention treatment in medical and dental settings. Anticipated findings will inform national guidelines and public messaging related to dental caries prevention.

This project is funded by the National Institutes of Health 2U01DE021412.

Margherita Fontana, DDS, PhD
Professor, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan

For more information, please contact:
Lisa Prosser, PhD, MS
Director, Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center

Email: lisapros@umich.edu

Angela Rose
Project Manager

Email: angmrose@umich.edu