If the dental implant industry was a company, investors around the world would be salivating for its initial public offer so they could snatch up as much stock in it as they could. What has driven a sector of dentistry from being considered “too good to be true” all the way to “too good to miss” in roughly a decade’s time?
The market still has a long way to go, yet it has come so far already. The combined market for dental implants and final abutment, the part that sits atop the titanium implant post, was valued at $1.1 billion this year and is projected to climb past the $1.5 billion mark over the next five years.
What does all that mean for everyday people concerned with finding reliable ways to replace missing teeth? These are the top four implications the dental implant explosion has for the average consumer.
- More Reliable
Much of the success that has driven dental implants into the mainstream can be boiled down to one word: reliability. Around 2005, the success rate of dental implants finally ascended to about where it stands today – at about 95 percent. From there, the market has been red hot.
The viability of dental implants hasn’t been lost on dentists, even those who don’t specialize in oral surgery or prostheses such as dentures. The number of implants placed in 2010 has roughly doubled today, yet the number of active dentists in the U.S. has only increased by about 1 percent – growing from about 185,000 to around 200,000 currently over that time.
After decades of slow, crawling adoption by dental practices, the dental community now stands firmly behind dental implants and that should give you confidence in this tech’s ability to serve you reliably.
- Faster Turnaround
It hasn’t just been the reliability of dental implants that has earned the tech the support of dentists around the globe. Computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and advanced imaging technologies have made it easier for the dentist and the patient to get on the same page sooner, and these innovations have cut the time it takes to place implants to a fraction of what it used to be.
Using cone beam imaging to highlight issues, dentists can show you, clearly and objectively, where the problem lies and what they plan to do to resolve it, according to Dr. David Rice, DDS and author at Dental Products Report.
“On the spot, you already know what a patient needs to do in order to place that implant or what you need to do if you can’t, as opposed to making impressions and all this other stuff and two weeks later figuring it out,” Rice stated.
- Better Understood
As big of a stigma as dentures have carried for decades, many people still find the idea of them more palatable than undergoing the oral surgery required by dental implants. But as all of the aforementioned data indicates, the fear and misconceptions surrounding dental implants have been fading – and fading fast.
Seeing is believing.
After they’re no longer shocked to see an old friend eating fresh fruit with no problem, after watching how the implant supported dentures don’t shift in an old classmate’s mouth, after seeing a cousin with a full set of teeth for the first time in a decade, it’s kind of hard to shrug off dental implants.
Hearing is understanding.
Words such as “bone,” “drilling,” “extraction,” and “surgery” can be combined in the imagination to paint horrific images. But with more understanding of how dental implant are placed, the process of drilling tiny holes for the titanium implants to take root in changes from a thought that invokes anxiety to valuable knowledge that gives you peace of mind – peace of mind in knowing your implants will be secured the same way natural teeth are.
After a local business owner saw, believed, heard and understood the value of dental implants, thanks to a friend of his mother-in-law, he took the life-changing steps to get his placed.
“Ever since I’ve had the finished product put in my mouth, it’s been leaps and bounds betters,” the business owner told National Dental. “And as far as smiling and having a nice set of teeth: I deal with the public for my business, so I need to feel confident.
Though there is so much untapped potential in the market for dental implants, this sector is starting to mature and with maturation comes plenty of perks for the consumer:
Experience – the dentists that jumped out ahead of the curve when market growth accelerated a decade and a half ago now have a decade and a half of experience in placing dental implants. The means you’re more likely to get care from a dentist who’s seasoned in placing implants and knows how to quickly right anything that’s going wrong.
Competition – with each practice that adopts dental implants, you’re more likely to get a highly competitive price on your implants. However, there’s only so low the prices associated with the parts and labor can go in any industry. Anything too far below market value is likely cutting corners, or hiding them until it’s time to invoice the patient.
Convenience – with more dentists placing implants, more competition in pricing and more experience all around, you’re now more likely to find a well-qualified dentist to install your implants locally. So you won’t have to travel as far or wait as long to secure an appointment.
Take the Next Steps
Learn how these landmark advances in dental implant and prosthetic technology can serve your need specifically. Schedule a consultation with a local dentist and find out if you are a candidate for implants.
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