Delta Dental Plan of Minnesota recently completed a study of the trends and costs comparisons associated with treating a severely damaged or lost tooth.

“It is our understanding that this research is the first to explore these important issues,” says  Richard Hastreiter, DDS, co-author of the study.  “Because dental implants are a hot topic in dentistry today, these results generated significant interest from dentists and industry analysts, because this kind of information simply hasn’t been previously available.” 

Richard Hastreiter, DDS, dental director and vice president of oral health analytics at Delta Dental and Peilei Jiang, MS, MS, PhD, director of oral health analytics at Delta Dental, completed the study by using data from dental claims submitted by Minnesota dentists for services provided to commercially insured patients from 1997 through 2004.

The study revealed that the average initial cost of implants with crowns and associated procedures was the most expensive ($3,255), followed by three-unit bridges and associated procedures ($2,410), and root canals with crowns and associated procedures ($1,591). The study also uncovered an increase in the use of implants with crowns, a significant decrease in the use of three-unit bridges, and no significant change in the use of root canals with crowns. 

To see complete results of the study, go to www.deltadentalmn.org.