Tooth replacement has quickly become one of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures in the United States. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, nearly 15 million Americans have had bridge and crown replacement for missing teeth. Additionally, three million people have had at least one dental implant. As time goes forward and we continue to munch on the sugary snacks we love so much, those statistics are set to change in big ways. In fact, year to year, the number of Americans getting dental implants increases by 500,000 people!
What’s Driving the Popularity of Implants in the United States?
Fully 26% of adults will have lost all of their permanent teeth by age 74, according to a study by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS). The same research shows that 69% of American adults between the ages of 35 and 44 years old have lost at least one tooth. The main causes? Accidents, gum disease, failed root canals, and tooth decay.
Most tooth loss is caused by an uptick in the amount of sugary food and drink Americans consume that have deleterious effects on oral hygiene and health. The scale of the problem was recently demonstrated in a Forbes piece, the gist of which is this: in 1822, Americans consumed around 45 g of sugar, the amount found in your typical can of soda, every five days! Today, we consume 765 g of sugar each and every day, an amount equal to 130 lbs. per year. With sugar being the main food source for the bacteria that cause plaque and tooth decay, it’s only natural that we’re losing more teeth, leading to our increased need for high-quality replacements.
How is This Need Transforming the Market?
In 2008, the dental implant market was worth an estimated $1 billion. However, thanks to our ever increasing need for replacement teeth, that number is set to explode over the next decade. Globally, we’re in the midst of a huge upward swing, with industry worth expected to quadruple from 2008 as it hits $4.2 billion in 2015. If current estimates hold, growth won’t stop there, though. By 2018, U.S. market values are expected to eclipse $8 billion.
Naturally, this geometric rise in the need for implant services will come with increased opportunities for those looking to get into the field. Currently, only an estimated 10% of all dental professionals perform dental implant procedures. However, especially as we near that $8 billion mark in 2018, opportunities for these specialized professionals will undoubtedly experience a similar boom. For Americans, many of whom increasingly need these services, that can only be seen as a good thing.