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Dental Trend: Implants Poised To Become Industry Fixtures

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Americans pride themselves on being trendsetters in all things, and the area of dental health is no exception. Market research shows that an upsurge in dental patients in the United States is going to double the dental implant economy over the next seven years. At that point, America will lead the world, responsible for one-third of the implant market. Specifically, experts expect revenue from American dental implants to increase from 3.4 to 6.6 billion dollars per year, and worldwide to 19.4 billion dollars. The upward push is a result of aging baby boomers, increased need for dental restorations, and technological advances. If you are considering dental implants, you are in good company--and good hands.

Baby boomers boom the industry

Baby boomers are defined as those children born between 1946 and 1964. Currently, they comprise nearly 25% of the American population and are between the ages of 50 and 68 years old. If you are a baby boomer, you are probably experiencing an increase in dental problems. This is because cumulative conditions such as tooth decay and gum disease are finally taking their toll. If so, you are in good company. Twenty-five percent of older Americans have gum disease, the chief cause of tooth loss--and 23.4% have no teeth at all. One reason for the greater incidence of dental problems in this generation is that many did not grow up drinking fluoridated water; this public health measure did not begin until 1951, and it wasn't until 1960 that it was widely implemented. Many did not use fluoridated toothpaste as children, as the first toothpaste of this kind didn't appear until 1955. You are just one of many baby boomers now hitting dental offices all over the country with cavities, cracked teeth, and periodontal disease that require fillings, crowns, root canals, and dental implants.

Complacent oral care creates additional need

Americans overall are also having to face the consequences of poor oral care. Unlike the number of dental problems experienced in people's golden years, this reason for the increase in the number of dental implants is entirely under Americans' control. For instance, 47.2% of those in this country have periodontal disease. Because it is a silent and gradual disease, skipping a handful of dental visits and neglecting proper brushing and flossing habits can result in a surprise diagnosis at your next checkup. You may even avoid the dentist until you are experiencing pain, which means gum disease may have progressed so far that an extraction is indicated. Once the problem tooth (or teeth) have been removed, a dental implant is the logical recommendation.

Technological advances streamline implant process

Getting dental implants used to be a process requiring several visits over the course of three to six months. However, new digital dentistry techniques have made the procedure much easier and efficient. Same-day dental implants are now widely available; extractions and implants (with crowns affixed) can be done in the same surgical visit. This is made possible by technology that allows dentists to see computerized models of their patients' mouths. Dentists then design correctly sized fixtures in the office, rather than sending out work to an offsite lab. Additionally, this more accurate method of placing implants means fewer problems for patients after the procedure.  As the process for getting implants becomes easier, it stands to reason that they will become a more popular option for remedying tooth loss.

Growing numbers of aging Americans, increasing cases of poor oral care, and improved dental technology are all expected to drive the demand for dental implants over the next several years. Therefore, implants are quickly becoming a "fixture" in the range of options for tooth loss.  If you are experiencing dental problems, take advantage of the improvements in this arena of dental care and talk to your dentist about implants today.