Estimating Unit Costs for Dental Service Delivery in Institutional and Community-Based Settings in Southern Thailand
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In this cross-sectional study, the cost of different dental services was estimated and the unit costs of dental services for schoolchildren were compared between 2 settings: hospital-based and community-based mobile dental clinics. Heads of all departments in a selected community hospital were invited to attend 2 workshops to collect relevant data. Unit costs of different dental services varied from 41 to 2693 baht, with services falling into 4 unit cost groups: very high, high, moderate, and low. The very-high-unit-cost services included rehabilitative dental services. The high-unit-cost services covered removal of an impacted tooth, root canal treatment, and tooth-color fillings. The moderate-unit-cost group included a wide range of other dental services, with screening and oral hygiene instruction in community-based dental clinics falling into the low-unit-cost group. Generally, services provided in the community-based mobile clinic had lower unit costs than the same services provided in the hospital dental clinic.
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