March 24, 2017

Ko and Thiessen, A Critique of Recent Economic Evaluations of Community Water Fluoridation, International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health

ABSTRACT

Background:  Although community water fluoridation (CWF) results in a range of potential contaminant exposures, little attention has been given to many of the possible impacts. A central argument for CWF is its
cost-effectiveness. The U.S. Government states that $1 spent on CWF saves $38 in dental treatment costs.

Objective:  To examine the reported cost-effectiveness of CWF.

Methods:  Methods and underlying data from the primary U.S. economic evaluation of CWF are analyzed and corrected calculations are described. Other recent economic evaluations are also examined.

Results:  Recent economic evaluations of CWF contain defective estimations of both costs and benefits.  Incorrect handling of dental treatment costs and flawed estimates of effectiveness lead to overestimated
benefits. The real-world costs to water treatment plants and communities are not reflected.

Conclusions:  Minimal correction reduced the savings to $3 per person per year (PPPY) for a best-case scenario, but this savings is eliminated by the estimated cost of treating dental fluorosis.

Ko and Thiessen, A Critique of Recent Economic Evaluations of Community Water Fluoridation, International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Dec-2014

http://www.maneyonline.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1179/2049396714Y.0000000093