The American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) estimates that there are more than 3 million Americans who currently have dental implants -- and that number is growing by as much as 500,000 per year! And while the technology ensures more Americans have a full mouth of teeth (and some beautiful dental work to boot) not all patients are getting them for the usual reasons. Why are more Americans seeking restorative dental care?
Trauma, usually in the form of serious sports injuries, is among the most common reasons to seek restorative dental care. In fact, according to the Journal of The American Dental Association, about 13 to 39% of dental injuries result from sports-related trauma. Football players and rugby players, not altogether surprisingly, are most prone to dental injuries -- and some can definitely be serious enough to knock out some teeth. While many of these injuries could be prevented with current dental care and precautions (i.e., mouth guard compliance), the vast majority of athletes learn that lesson the hard way.
Athletes, sports enthusiasts, and fitness buffs aren't the only ones susceptible to dental trauma, however. A surprising number of patients look to technology in dentistry and new dental implants to replace teeth after biting down on chicken bones or pulling a tooth out when trying to open a tough plastic package or even a beer bottle (yes, it happens) with their teeth.
While smokers may turn to the dentist to whiten teeth and rightfully so (professional teeth whitening can brighten and whiten teeth by up to 10 shades), they may also want to have a conversation about bone density and whether implants are an inevitable part of their future. "A recent study found that over 40% of smokers had lost at least one tooth, compared to less than a third for non-smokers," Healthable.org reveals. In some cases, secondhand smoke can even increase the likelihood of premature tooth loss.
Many people associate tooth loss with old age. That isn't always the case. In fact, more Americans are losing teeth due to blunt trauma (thanks to sports injuries or even chicken bones) and loss of bone density after years of smoking.