Little is known about the financial costs that smoking adds to the lifetime treatment of periodontal disease.
The total lifetime cost of periodontal treatment was modeled using data from private periodontal practice. The costs of initial and supportive therapy, re‐treatment and tooth replacements (with bridgework or implants) were identified using average dental charges from the American Dental Association survey. Smoking costs at $6 and $10 for 20 cigarettes were compared to the costs of lifetime periodontal treatment for stable and unstable compliant patients.
Smoking added 8.8% to the financial cost of the lifetime cost of periodontal therapy in stable maintenance patients, 40.1% in patients who needed one extra maintenance visit, and 71.4% in patients who needed two extra maintenance visits per year in addition to added retreatment. The cost of smoking far exceeded the cost of periodontal treatment; For patients who smoked 10 to 40 cigarettes per day at the cost of $6 or $10 a pack, the cost of smoking exceeded the cost of lifetime periodontal treatment by between 2.7 and 17.9 times. Smoking 40 cigarettes at $10 a packet for 3.4 years would pay for the entire lifetime cost of periodontal treatment.
Smoking adds considerable extra financial costs to the lifetime treatment of periodontal diseases. The cost of smoking itself exceeds the cost of periodontal therapy.