Willingness to pay for dentin regeneration in a sample of dentate adults
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OBJECTIVES: Measurement of individuals' valuation of dental treatments is important in the evaluation of new technologies. In this paper the value of dentin regeneration, a new treatment for teeth with reversible pulpitis, is measured based on what individuals say they would be willing to pay to receive the treatment. METHODS: A total of 611 randomly selected dentate adults answered willingness to pay (WTP) and dental insurance questions. Detailed descriptions of the process and expected outcomes for dentin regeneration were presented to subjects as part of a larger study measuring preferences for different treatments. WTP was determined for two different levels of success for dentin regeneration. RESULTS: At a success rate of 95%, the mean WTP for dentin regeneration was $262.70 (noninsured) and $11.00 per month (insured subjects). For success rate of 75%, the corresponding values were $210.90 and $9.20 per month. Multivariate analyses were used to identify any significant relationships between WTP and a range of variables covering socio-demographic, socio-economic, dental experience and oral health status variables. The findings indicate that individuals' valuations of treatments involve substantial unexplained variation. About half of the noninsured subjects would pay for dentin regeneration if it cost $200 per tooth. CONCLUSIONS: The data on the WTP for dentin regeneration indicate that a substantial percentage of adults will pay for this new technology. This study provides for the first time an estimate of WTP for dentin regeneration among the population.
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