Irreversible pulpitis in mature permanent teeth: A cost-effectiveness analysis of pulpotomy versus root canal treatment

Document Type

Case Report


Dental-oral, Maxillo-facial Surgery


Introduction: Evidence-based dentistry suggests pulpotomy as a potential alternative to root canal treatment in mature permanent teeth with irreversible pulpitis. However, the evidence surrounding the cost-valuation and cost-efficacy of this treatment modality is not yet established. In this context, we adopted an economic modeling approach to assess the cost-effectiveness of pulpotomy versus root canal treatment, as this could aid in effective clinical decision-making.
Methods: A Markov model was constructed following a mature permanent tooth with irreversible pulpitis in an 18-year-old patient over a lifetime using TreeAge Pro Healthcare 2022. Transition probabilities were estimated based on existing literature. Costs were estimated based on the United States healthcare following a private-payer perspective and parameter uncertainties were addressed using Monte-Carlo simulations. The model was validated internally by sensitivity analyses, and face validation was performed by an experienced endodontist and health economist.
Results: In the base case scenario, root canal treatment was associated with additional health benefit but at an increased cost (1.08 more years with an incremental cost of 311.20 USD) over a period of an individual's lifetime. The probabilistic sensitivity analysis revealed pulpotomy to be cost-effective at lower Willingness-To-Pay (WTP) values (99.9% acceptable at 50 USD) whereas increasing the values of WTP threshold root canal treatment was a cost-effective treatment (99.9% acceptable at 550 USD).
Conclusion: Based on current evidence, pulpotomy was a cost-effective treatment option at lower WTP values for the management of irreversible pulpitis in mature permanent teeth. However, by increasing the WTP threshold, root canal treatment became a more cost-effective treatment option over a period of lifetime of an individual.


Voloume,issue and pagination are not provided by author/publisher

Publication (Name of Journal)

BMC Oral Health