Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate the patients' willingness to pay (WTP) values and preference for the treatment of a tooth with very poor prognosis, among two options: Root canal therapy and crown positioning or tooth extraction, implant insertion and crown positioning.Methods A total of 103 patients were recruited from a private dental clinic and interviewed. A questionnaire measured individuals' preferences among the two alternative treatments for a tooth with poor prognosis and the maximum amount of money they would be willing to pay for their choice with a starting bid of [euro]2,000 in [euro]100 increment/decrement. Demographic data, patient choice, median values and WTP association with socio-demographic factors (Student ttest and one-way ANOVA) and correlation between variables (Pearson chi-square test) were revealed.Results Seventy-six percent of patients expressed a preference for root canal therapy, while the remaining 24% chose the dental surgery. A fair agreement between previous experience and current therapeutic choice was found (P = 0.0001). The WTP median value was [euro]2,000 and 46% of participants would pay an additional sum of money for the therapy (median: [euro]300). The preferred treatment was influenced by previous experience, but no association was found between WTP values and socio-demographic factors.Conclusion Patients tend to prefer a conservative approach for the treatment of a tooth with poor prognosis and are willing to pay an additional fee to receive their treatment choice.
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