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Chinese Journal of Dental Research
Chin J Dent Res 19 (2016), No. 2     4. July 2016
Chin J Dent Res 19 (2016), No. 2  (04.07.2016)

Page 77-88, doi:10.3290/j.cjdr.a36177, PubMed:27379345


New Analytical Tools for Evaluating Dental Care Systems - Results for Germany and Selected Highly Developed Countries
Saekel, Rüdiger
Objective: To propose new analytical tools that facilitate the obtention of quantifiable results for evaluating different dental care systems.
Methods: The paper describes the construction of a composite indicator that measures dental health on a population basis in one overall indicator, the Dental Health Index (DHI). If the DHI is combined with a Dental Care Cost Index, an efficiency index (EI) can be created.
Results: The use of these new instruments for analysing different dental care systems reveals that the Swedish and Danish populations enjoy the best dental health status, followed by US, Japanese, Australian and Canadian citizens. Germany ranks in the middle, while the Dutch and Finnish populations enjoy a lesser degree of dental health. Advanced dental health can be achieved in any oral healthcare system, irrespective of the underlying cost-sharing and funding structures. As a benchmark for industrialised countries, cost levels for dental care between 0.5% and 0.7% of GDP, seem to be the international norm. A population's dental status is determined by the degree to which preventive and tooth-preserving treatment approaches are practised, also amongst adults.
Conclusion: The new instruments broaden the diagnostic possibilities for investigating different dental care systems. The greater the degree to which preventive and tooth-preserving treatment methods for the entire population are incorporated in daily clinical practice, the faster and better such systems progress and perform in terms of efficacy and efficiency.

Keywords: benefit/cost analysis of the dental sector, overall dental health indicator, performance of dental care systems, efficiency of oral care