Each week more than 1 million patients in the UK use NHS dental services – many seeking treatment for dental disease - costing £3.4bn each year*. With the NHS facing a huge funding gap, innovative solutions – such as sugarfree chewing gum - need to be considered to help tackle the preventable problem of tooth decay.
To support in addressing this growing need, York Health Economics Consortium and Peninsula Dental School, Plymouth University conducted a study supported by The Wrigley Company Ltd. The study is the first of its kind in the UK and demonstrates the potential cost savings to be realised if chewing of sugarfree gum increased. The results demonstrate that up to a staggering £8.2m of costs to the NHS - the equivalent to 364,000 dental check-ups** could be saved if chewing of sugarfree gum increased amongst the study cohort of twelve year olds across the UK.
You can learn more about this study through our data slide set here or see below for our study overview and infographic.
* NHS England. Improving Dental Care – A Call to Action. Available here.
** 1 Unit of dental activity = £22.50. 8200,000 / 22.50 = 364,000
Health Economic study overview
The effect of sugarfree gum on the prevention of dental caries has been established for some time. With increased constraints placed on healthcare budgets, the importance of economic considerations in decision-making about health interventions has increased. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the potential cost savings in oral care associated with increased levels of sugarfree gum usage.
Learn more about this study through our poor oral health infographic.