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Factors affecting direction and strength of patient preferences for treatment of molar teeth with non-vital pulps

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Chris VernazzaORCiD, Emeritus Professor Jimmy Steele CBE, Professor John Whitworth, Professor John WildmanORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Aim: To elicit the factors affecting Willingness to Pay values for the preferred options of participants for dealing with a molar tooth with a non-vital pulp, a common but difficult problem. Methodology: A total of 503 patients were recruited from dental practices in the North East of England and interviewed. Their preferred treatment option for a molar tooth with a non-vital pulp (endodontics, extraction and various prosthetic restorative options) and WTP for this preferred option were elicited. Factors affecting preferred option and WTP were analysed using econometric modelling. Results: Overall, 53% of the sample wished to save the tooth with a mean WTP of £373. The variance in WTP was high. Of those opting for extraction the majority chose to leave a gap or have an implant. The preferred option was influenced by previous treatment experience. WTP was only influenced by having a low income. Conclusions: The high level of variance in WTP and its relatively unpredictable nature pose difficult questions for policy makers trying to ensure the delivery of an equitable service. For dentists, it is important not to make assumptions about patient preference and strength of preference when making decisions. Ideally, WTP values should be considered alongside effectiveness data, and those on costs, in policy making.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Vernazza CR, Steele JG, Whitworth JM, Wildman JR, Donaldson C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Endodontic Journal

Year: 2015

Volume: 48

Issue: 12

Pages: 1137-1146

Print publication date: 01/12/2015

Online publication date: 10/12/2014

Acceptance date: 12/11/2014

Date deposited: 21/11/2014

ISSN (print): 0143-2885

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2591

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/iej.12413

PubMed id: 25400281


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