Life expectancy has increased more rapidly since 1960 than at any other time in history. Because tooth loss is directly related to age, a growing number of adults suffer from missing teeth and the disadvantages of tooth loss.
The goal of modern dentistry is to restore the patient to normal contour, function, comfort, esthetics, speech, and health, whether by removing decay from a tooth or by replacing several teeth. What makes implant dentistry unique is the ability to achieve this goal, regardless of the tooth atrophy, disease, or injury to teeth.
The more teeth a patient is missing, the more challenging this task becomes. But, as a result of continued research, diagnostic tools, treatment planning, implant designs, materials, and techniques, predictable success is now a reality for the rehabilitation of many challenging clinical situations. That makes the case for patients in determining more readily to choose to have dental implants. The numbers reflect that reality. Dental implants used in the United States increased more than tenfold from 1983 to 2002, and another fivefold from 2000 to 2005.
Today, more than 1 million dental implants are placed each year. This number continues to increase steadily, with almost $550 million of implant products sold to North American dentists in 2005, compared with $10 million in 1983. The growth expected yearly growth rate is expected to be sustained at 12 percent to 15 percent for the next several years.
More than 90 percent of surgical specialty dentists provide dental implant treatment on a routine basis in their practices, 90 percent of Prosthodontists restore implants routinely, and more than 80 percent of general dentists have used implants to support fixed and removable prostheses. That compares to only 65 percent of general dentists just a mere 15 years ago.
There are a number of reasons for the increased use of implant-related treatments as patients and society, in general, become more aware of them. They include factors such as:
- aging population living longer
- tooth loss related to age
- consequences of fixed prosthesis failure
- anatomical consequences of tooth loss
- the poor performance of removable prostheses
- consequences of removable partial dentures
- psychological aspects of tooth loss and needs and desires of aging baby boomers
- more predictable long-term results of implant-supported prostheses
- advantages of implant-supported restorations
Aging is a special factor in the need for dental implants. In many patients, aging is directly related to every indicator of tooth loss. Think just how different life expectations were in the historical past. When Alexander the Great conquered the ancient world, he was only 17 years old. However, life expectancy at that time was only 22 years of age. From 1000 BC to AD 1800, lifespan remained less than 30 years.
A person of that era would be shocked to see the longevity of people today, as life spans continue to expand well beyond normal retirement age. In 1965, the average lifespan was 65 years; in 1990 it was 78 years. Life expectancy in 2001 was 85 years for a nonsmoking individual of normal weight. A 65-year-old person can now expect to live more than 20 additional years, and an 80-year old can expect to live 9.5 more years
That’s why it is not unusual or illogical for a 70-year-old patient to ask, “Is it worth it for me to spend $20,000 to 30,000 to repair my mouth at my age?”
The response from dentists should be very positive, as the patient’s life expectancy will likely extend for two more decades, and their current oral situation will normally become worse if not corrected. Social pleasures, including dining and dating, can continue throughout advanced life. There is a greater reason than ever for patients to consider the amazing benefits and life-changing advantages of dental implants.
What are dental implants and how they work?
A dental implant is a titanium post to anchor a porcelain crown. This procedure is performed in two stages. First, the surgeon will place the dental implant into the bone and allow it to heal. Then the dentist will place the permanent crown onto the implant and adjust your bite to ensure it is perfectly aligned. Over time, the titanium post will fuse to your jawbone in a process called osseointegration, helping the dental implant last a lifetime.
Dental implants are the next best thing to your healthy, natural teeth. Strong and stable, a dental implant restores a lost tooth so that it looks, feels, fits and functions like a natural tooth when implanted by an experienced implant dentist. Other options such as dentures or bridges can lead to bone deterioration and may interfere with eating, smiling, speaking and other activities of everyday life.
Are you missing one or just a few teeth? If you answered yes then a dental implant may be an excellent way to help you regain that natural look and feel to your chewing, speaking, and smile! No matter what your age, choosing to have dental implants is a positive life choice. Your Omega Dental Specialists are here to help you decide if dental implants are a choice you may wish to make. Visit our special page for every month specials. We offer financing to our patients.
About Omega Dental
With our variety of dental specialists under one roof, Omega Dental Specialists Houston provides patients with treatment options for any potential need. Our dedicated staff is experienced in several specialty divisions, including Endodontics, Pediatric Dentistry (Pedodontics), Dental Implants and Orthodontics.