The human body is more durable than what most people give it credit for. Tissues and organs heal themselves readily, fortunately for us. Even rock-hard bones heal themselves over time if they fracture or break.
One type of bone, however, does not, in fact, heal itself over time – if you haven’t already guessed, it’s the teeth.
Adults should have between 28 and 32 teeth. There’s a discrepancy here because a small percentage of people’s wisdom teeth don’t grow in. Most people have them removed, anyway, leaving them with an artificially-reduced total number of teeth.
Since teeth don’t heal themselves, many people who suffer visible tooth damage or end up losing one or more teeth opt to seek dental assistance. One way of replacing these teeth – or filling in the gaps where teeth should be – is through dental implants.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth that is secured to the jawbone. A hole is first drilled into the jawbone, in which a screw – this screw is known as an implant – is set. An abutment sits atop the implant, which serves as an intermediary between the implant and the crown or prosthesis, both of which are what look and function as teeth.
Here are eight facts about dental implants that you might not have known about.
1. Dental implants are quite likely to be successful
No medical or dental treatment is 100 percent successful, no matter how simple it is, how long it’s been practiced, or how skilled the physician or dentist performing the treatment is.
Even though dental implants involve drilling holes through the gums, into the jawbone, and then stitching the gums closed, not to mention requiring the average patient to heal for weeks, if not months, the procedure has an average success rate of 97 percent.
2. Here’s the leading factor behind the impending growth in the dental implant industry
Our bodies break down over time. Some parts of our bodies are better suited for the long run than others. Seeing as teeth don’t regenerate over time, teeth are one of the least-suited body parts for sustaining success over the long haul.
As such, as people grow older, they’re more likely to seek out dental treatments such as dental implants to bring their oral health back to their original standing.
As the average person’s foreseeable lifespan will continue to increase, the average person will become more likely to seek out dental implants. This increase in the worldwide geriatric population will be the leading factor behind the continuing growth seen in the dental implant industry.
3. Dental implants are becoming more expensive
As mentioned above, it’s safe to assume that the average age of the general population will continue to increase. Since people can expect to live longer, why not invest in healthcare treatments that will last longer?
Many people who sign up for dental implants today seek out high-value implants. The proportion of high-value to lower-cost implants is growing larger. Market forecasts indicate that the number of high-value dental implants will level out with their lower-cost counterparts by 2025.
4. How common is tooth loss?
There are two reasons why people get dental implants: tooth damage and tooth loss. The latter is far more common than tooth damage when it comes to why these oral implants are sought out.
Tooth loss is more common than most people realize. More than two-thirds of adults aged 35 to 44 have suffered the loss of one or more teeth, says the Foundation for Oral Rehabilitation.
5. What are most dental implants made out of?
Titanium has been the gold standard in the dental implant industry for several decades. Of course, one of the primary reasons why titanium is chosen as the go-to material for implants is that it’s so dense and resistant to shattering or breakage, even over decades of use.
However, the primary reason why titanium is the staple material for dental implants is that it has long been proven to bond tightly to human bone through the phenomenon known as osseointegration.
Osseointegration forms bonds so tight that the only way to remove titanium from the bones it has fused to is by causing bone fracture.
6. How much is the implant market likely to grow?
At the end of 2018-2019, according to 2740 Consulting, the total annual value of the worldwide dental implant market was roughly $5.1 billion.
A recent report from Zion Market Research called “Dental Implants Market by Product, Material, and by End User: Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis and Forecast, 2017 – 2024,” published earlier this year, estimates that the size of the global market will reach an annual valuation just short of $8 billion by 2024.
The firm estimates the industry will experience a compound annual growth rate of 6.63 percent from now through 2024.
7. How many teeth do adults tend to have?
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research carried out a study spanning the years 1999 through 2004. Over this time, they tracked the average number of permanent teeth that American adults had.
In American adults aged 20 to 34, 35 to 49, and 50 to 64, respectively, the average number of permanent teeth they had were 26.9, 25, and 22.3.
This goes to show that people of all ages have at least some room for dental implants, which is a good look for the industry.
8. How many American seniors have no teeth?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that some 25 percent of Americans ages 65 and up have no teeth.
Seeing as the cost of healthcare in the United States is now being supplemented – to some degree, at least, however small – by government-assisted healthcare subsidies, older people are likely to find it easier to pay for dental implants.