Internationally known dental researcher and lecturer Gordon Christensen, DDS, MSD, PhD, speaking at the American Academy of Implant Dentistry annual meeting, said that 99% of edentulous (missing ALL teeth) and partially edentulous (missing some/many teeth) patients do not get dental implants, and the specialty must become more mainstream and the procedure more affordable to serve this unmet need.

    “There are 178 million people in the United States who are missing one or more teeth and only 1% of them get implants. That means there is enormous opportunity for dentists to add implants to their practices and help the procedure to become more mainstream. Of all implant cases, 9 in 10 require a single implant”, he said. Because many dentists don’t DO implant treatments, their patients are not even presented with this option, and instead, given only traditional options for replacing missing teeth.  This is a shame, considering the high success rate of implant treatments, and unfair to patients.

    In the U.S., 30% of adults between 65-74 years old have no natural teeth.
    Christensen said that seniors are a prime market for implants but the cost of the procedure prohibits many from getting the implants they need. “We need to serve this population with affordable implants that can improve their quality of life”, said Christensen.

    Luckily, for people who are missing some, several or all of their teeth, there are ways to replace them without having to grind down healthy, adjacent teeth; or having to suffer with bulky, removeable dentures. Today, thanks to dental implants, there are several different dental implant treatment options for restoring smiles and rehabilitating mouths. With a success predictability of 97%, the more the public is made aware of dental implants as an option, the more people will be able to receive a permanent, long term solution to replacing and restoring missing teeth. This greatly improves their ability to smile with confidence, takes years off their appearance, and most importantly, allows them to chew well, thus allowing for a healthier diet.  If you are missing teeth, consider seeing if dental implants are right for you!