Expert reports archive
There is evidence from a number of studies that water fluoridation is a cost-effective – possibly the most cost-effective – means of reducing tooth decay. They include a 1998 report by the York Economics Consortium, a study by US researchers published in 2001, and an updated review by a US Community Preventive Services Task Force published in 2016.
An economic evaluation of fluoridation by US researchers published in 2001 estimated that the reduction in the cost...Read more
Studies of interest
Figures from Public Health England show that the cost of fluoridating water supplied to around 6 million people across the country was just over £2 million in 2014/15.
This works out at about 35 pence per person per annum served by those fluoridation schemes and contrasts significantly with the £54 it costs on average to perform of a single filling of decayed tooth on the NHS or the £558 it costs on average to undertake tooth extractions under a general anaesthetic in hospital.
Hospital admissions of children and adolescents for tooth extractions
The least expensive way to deliver the benefits of fluoride to all residents of a community
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says: “Community water fluoridation is not only safe and effective, but it is also cost-saving and the least expensive way to deliver the benefits of fluoride to all residents of a community.
“For larger communities of more than 20,000 people, it costs about 50 cents per person to fluoridate the water. It is also cost-effective because every $1 invested in this preventive measure yields approximately $38 savings in dental treatment costs.
“This method of fluoride delivery benefits all people regardless of age, income, education, or socioeconomic status. A person’s income and ability to get routine dental care are not barriers since all residents of a community can enjoy fluoride’s protective benefits just by drinking tap water and consuming foods and beverages prepared with it.
“Fluoride from other sources prevents tooth decay as well, whether from toothpaste, mouth rinses, professionally applied fluoride treatments, or prescription fluoride supplements. These methods of delivering fluoride, however, are more costly than water fluoridation and require a conscious decision to use them.”