Post-trial costs, clinical outcomes, and dental service utilization after a randomized clinical trial for caries control among Finnish adolescents

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The aim of this study was to assess post-trial treatment costs, clinical outcomes [decayed, missing or filled surfaces (DMFS) scores], and utilization of dental services among adolescents who had participated in a randomized clinical trial (RCT) in Pori, Finland, in 2001–2005. At baseline the children were 11–12 yr of age and had had at least one active initial caries lesion. The children in the experimental group (n = 250) had been exposed to multiple measures for caries control, while those in the control group (n = 247) had received standard dental care. During the post-trial period (2005–2008), all participants received the standard dental care offered in public dental clinics in Pori. In both groups the costs of treatment procedures and outcomes for the post-trial period were calculated for each adolescent. Information from patient records was available for 487 adolescents (former experimental n = 246, control n = 241). The mean total costs per adolescent were lower and the clinical outcome was better among the former experimental-group participants. The differences in mean costs between the groups were statistically significant for preventive and restorative procedures. The utilization of dental services was significantly more regular among the former experimental-group participants.

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