Which is more cost-effective to treat initial caries lesions — traditional restoration or noninvasive therapies?

A study in the Journal of the American Dental Association finds that several noninvasive caries therapies improve outcomes for patients and are more cost-effective for payors and clinicians. 

The study, co-authored by researchers at CareQuest Innovation Partners, compares silver diamine fluoride, self-assembling peptide P11-4, and glass ionomer sealants to traditional surgical dental restorations to treat initial caries lesions. The authors found that per-chair profitability was 4-6 times higher with noninvasive scenarios due to increased efficiencies. 

The authors note that while 94% of US dentists report restoring initial lesions, “noninvasive therapies provide a treatment option that empowers dental teams to heal the first signs of disease.” 

Read the cover article in the Journal of the American Dental Association (open access).