Our smiles are one of our most important assets. In fact, as the statistics from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry show, 99% of Americans believe that our smiles are hugely important to our social success. Think about the last time the one you loved smiled radiantly at you, and it’s not too hard to see why.
Despite the importance of our pearly whites, Americans haven’t earned themselves a sterling reputation for taking care of their smiles. According to the New Hampshire Department of Public Health, Americans now consume an estimated 152 pounds of sugar each year. Not only is that terrible for our waistlines, it’s also incredibly damaging to our teeth. After all, sugar is the main source of food for plaque, the bacteria that lives on our teeth and produces acid that breaks them down.
Cosmetic Dentistry Has Evolved to Help Protect Our Smiles
Despite our abysmal dietary habits, there is a bright glimmer of hope for those of us who take less than fantastic care of our smiles. Americans spend a whopping $1.4 billion a year on tooth whitening procedures and products. Each year, the number of people seeking dental implants in the United States jumps by around 500,000 patients. That’s not terribly surprising, not when you consider that dental implant success rates hover around 98%.
Whether it’s dental implants or tooth whitening, the fact is that cosmetic dentistry has advanced to the point where we no longer need to worry all that much about protecting the color or health of our teeth. With medical-grade tooth whitening procedures and highly reliable implants on the market, we can simply restore our lost luster or opt for new teeth altogether.
Who is Most Likely to Seek out Cosmetic Dentistry in the U.S.?
According to the AACD, most cosmetic dentistry patients, 60%, are female. Further, more than half of patients for all cosmetic procedures are between the ages of 41 and 60. While the gender-specific statistics undoubtedly require an in-depth look at the role of society and perceptions of beauty, the age-based numbers are far more easily explained. As we age, our teeth naturally decay and become discolored. However, with that being said, only one in 10 Americans over the age of 65 have lost teeth, thanks entirely to advances in dental medicine over the last few decades. Clearly, cosmetic dentistry can help us fight off the rigors of age and poor nutritional habits.
Interestingly, of Americans aged 20 to 64, 69% of Americans have lost at least one permanent tooth. While the statistics don’t paint a clear picture as to what is causing common tooth loss among the population, the effects of this can clearly be seen in the ever-increasing number of Americans seeking cosmetic dental implant procedures. While only three million Americans currently have dental implants, as our habits continue to come back to haunt us, the number who seek out new implant procedures, whitening, and other cosmetic revivification of their pearly whites is set to increase over the coming years.