Frisktandvård was introduced in 2007, partly as a way of encouraging more people, primarily the young, to continue to go for regular dental check-ups. A thesis by Charlotte Andrén Andås, a doctoral student at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, has now investigated some of the effects of the reform in the Region Västra Götaland.
The study, which looked at over 6,000 individuals, shows that those who chose Frisktandvård from the start in 2007 were generally more motivated and interested in health-promoting behaviours –and are at less risk of developing caries.
Since the introduction of the new payment model, patients paying the traditional way have had a 50 % higher risk of developing caries than those who paid according to the Frisktandvård model.
“This difference persisted still after taking into account other potential influencing factors for the development of caries, such as age, gender, level of education and the individuals’ amount of caries before the option to sign a contract existed,” says Charlotte Andrén Andås.
More preventative treatment
According to her thesis, patients with Frisktandvård contracts received more preventative treatment as compared to patients in the traditional fee-for-service payment model. In addition, Frisktandvård patients were more likely to regard their oral health as very important for their wellbeing than patients who paid according to the traditional model.
“A number of patients called for better information about what they were actually bound to by the contract. But on the whole Frisktandvård patients are very satisfied with the model, over 91% like the model” says Charlotte Andrén Andås.
Assurance and control
The results of the thesis show that patients with Frisktandvård contracts experience feelings of assurance and control regarding both their dental care and its consequences for their household economy.
“Having more say in one’s own treatment may lead to a better understanding of how important it is to take personal responsibility for one’s own dental health. A mutual agreement seems to have a positive impact both on dental health behaviours and on dental health,” says Charlotte Andrén Andås.
FACTS ABOUT FRISKTANDVÅRD
Frisktandvård means that as a patient you pay a fixed price over three years for your dental care, and are also given an individual programme for own preventive actions to follow. The long-term aim of the reform is to improve dental health in Sweden and reduce costs for both the individual and society in order to promote a better standard of welfare.
Charlotte Andrén Andås will publicly defend her thesis A New Payment Model in Swedish Dental Care on 27 November.
Link to thesis: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/39557
Charlotte Andrén Andås, DDS, doctoral student, at Sahlgrenska Academy, the University of Gothenburg
Principal supervisor Professor Magnus Hakeberg, Sahlgrenska Academy, email@example.com
Photos: The Swedish Public Dental Service, Västra Götaland Region
BY: Krister Svahn