Key Points

  • The World Heath Orgainisation states that “Community water fluoridation is safe and cost-effective and should be introduced and maintained where ever is it socially acceptable and feasible” (1)
  • Studies suggest that, in terms of cost, effect and the certainty of that effect, the most cost-effective policy for reducing tooth decay is fluoridation of water supplies.
  • The higher the incidence of tooth decay before fluoridation starts and the larger the population to be served, the greater the economic benefits are likely to be.
  • In the parts of the UK where tooth decay remains a significant public heath problem, patients and the NHS economy would benefit hugely from water fluoridation.

One in a Million

Our One in a Million online database includes a comprehensive section on the cost-effectiveness of fluoridation.

Summary of Data Published Post 2012/2013

  • New studies in New Zealand (Moore and Poynton, 2015) and the US (Ran et al 2016; Meyer et al 2018) provide further evidence of the value for money provided by community water fluoridation.
  • However, given the variation in prices from country to country, one must be cautious in generalising these data to the UK.
  • The study commissioned by the South-Central Strategic Health Authority in 2008 probably remains the most applicable to the UK.