Dental health state utility values associated with tooth loss in two contrasting cultures

M. Z. Nassani, D. Locker, A. A. Elmesallati, H. Devlin, T. M. Mohammadi, A. Hajizamani, E. J. Kay

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Summary The study aimed to assess the value placed on oral health states by measuring the utility of mouths in which teeth had been lost and to explore variations in utility values within and between two contrasting cultures, UK and Iran. One hundred and fifty eight patients, 84 from UK and 74 from Iran, were recruited from clinics at University-based faculties of dentistry. All had experienced tooth loss and had restored or unrestored dental spaces. They were presented with 19 different scenarios of mouths with missing teeth. Fourteen involved the loss of one tooth and five involved shortened dental arches (SDAs) with varying numbers of missing posterior teeth. Each written description was accompanied by a verbal explanation and digital pictures of mouth models. Participants were asked to indicate on a standardized Visual Analogue Scale how they would value the health of their mouth if they had lost the tooth/teeth described and the resulting space was left unrestored. With a utility value of 0·0 representing the worst possible health state for a mouth and 1·0 representing the best, the mouth with the upper central incisor missing attracted the lowest utility value in both samples (UK = 0·16; Iran = 0·06), while the one with a missing upper second molar the highest utility values (0·42, 0·39 respectively). In both countries the utility value increased as the tooth in the scenario moved from the anterior towards the posterior aspect of the mouth. There were significant differences in utility values between UK and Iranian samples for four scenarios all involving the loss of anterior teeth. These differences remained after controlling for gender, age and the state of the dentition. With respect to the SDA scenarios, a mouth with a SDA with only the second molar teeth missing in all quadrants attracted the highest utility values, while a mouth with an extreme SDA with both missing molar and premolar teeth in all quadrants attracted the lowest utility values. The study provided further evidence of the validity of the scaling approach to utility measurement in mouths with missing teeth. Some cross-cultural variations in values were observed but these should be viewed with due caution because the magnitude of the differences was small. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)601-609
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Oral Rehabilitation
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009


    • Culture
    • Dental health
    • Measurement
    • Tooth loss
    • Utility values


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