Market trends in dentistry can tell us not just where the dental industry is, but where it’s going. And while that may not seem like something worth caring about unless you work in the dental industry, these trends can give a clear picture of which procedures and areas of dentistry are becoming popular with the average person walking into the dentist’s office. In this case, recent analysis suggests that the dental implant market will be valued at more than $7.8 billion by the year 2024.
What makes dental implants so popular? Figuring that out might make you consider getting them yourself.
An Epidemic of Missing Teeth
From what you see on television and in magazines, it would seem that everyone has a full, perfect set of pearly whites. This can make tooth loss feel like a deeply personal, embarrassing aesthetic defect. But if you look at the people around you, you’ll find that tooth loss is more common than you may think.
A staggering 120 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth — that’s more than a third of Americans. And that’s just one tooth. Of that 120 million, 36 million don’t have any teeth left at all.
Tooth loss can be caused by everything from dental decay to gum disease to trauma. And the danger of missing teeth isn’t just aesthetic. Those gaps can put neighboring teeth at risk of “leaning” in towards the gap and potentially being lost as well, and they make safe harbors for bacteria that can significantly increase your risk of decay. Not to mention that missing more than one or two teeth can even cause your jaw bone to weaken over time.
Dental Implants Are the Solution
So why are dental implants growing in popularity? More people are realizing that they’re a reliable, effective solution for tooth loss, and that getting them doesn’t just make your smile more attractive, it makes it healthier, too.
Implants have been around since the 1950s, and as technology has evolved, so has their efficacy. These days, implants are an incredibly low-risk procedure. In fact, some estimates place the success rate for dental implants at a whopping 98.4%.
Implants are also attractive, natural-looking, and long-lived. When properly cared for, implants can serve you for upwards of 50 years, although they may need minor repairs every decade or so. And since they’re created to mimic the natural structure of your teeth, complete with a root that integrates with the bone of your jaw and a durable crown, you can use them in all the same ways you’d use your normal teeth. You don’t have to change your diet or your oral hygiene habits to suit them.