There are a few noteworthy trends in dentistry. For one, cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening are more popular than ever, having skyrocketed to the number one position in requested procedures. But another lesser-known trend is the growing demand for prosthetic teeth, an industry that could be worth about $6.4 billion before the end of 2018. Whether you’re a customer or a dentist or just an industry analyst, you might wonder why this corner of dentistry is growing so fast.
From a medical standpoint, it seems like new technologies provide us with more relief and more reliable options than ever before. In theory, the health of our teeth should be improving over time. Yet here we are, tossing natural teeth aside in the hopes of replacing them with less reliable prosthetic ones. Here’s the thing: at least forty percent of prosthetic teeth result in failure. Sometimes the fault lies within the dentist or old technology, but more often the bone structure in your mouth simply reacts to and rejects the false tooth. So why are we still doing it?
Well, part of the reason could be greed. The bigger the margin for the procedure, the bigger the profit for the dentist recommending it. Pulling a tooth is one procedure, and implanting a prosthetic is another. Unsurprisingly, performing neither procedure is not a great way to rake in the cash when you’re trying to run the most successful business you can.
That could be the reason, but there’s another possibility.
If you must have repeated procedures performed on a single tooth over a short period of time, you might get fed up with your dentist and either go elsewhere or forgo dental treatment altogether. Dental implant technology is better than ever, and tooth extraction coupled with prosthetic implantation is a quick and dirty way to get you out the door and feeling good about both your appearance and health–not to mention your dentist’s performance.
After all, no one wants to spend a single second longer at the dentist’s office than they have to.
Still, even though the technology is much better than it once was and is only improving over time, dental malpractice lawyers have successfully won cases based on the assumption that evolving bone structure in an aging person’s mouth can cause a titanium implant to fail long before a ceiling of eight years has been reached. Wouldn’t you rather keep hold of your natural teeth for as long as possible even if they don’t look as aesthetically pleasing as they did when you were a kid if your only other option is to get a prosthetic that could fail immediately or last no longer than eight years?
There are ways to keep your teeth as healthy as possible for as long as you can. Brush twice daily and brush correctly! Floss at least once a day. Don’t use mouthwash if your oral hygiene doesn’t call for it. Don’t consume soft drinks or overindulge in sugary foods. Don’t drink too much coffee. Rinse your mouth after you eat or drink.
When your teeth do require a bit of a pick-me-up, then make sure your dentist has discussed every single one of your options with you first. Fillings, dental crowns, and bridges might all be more accessible options for a healthy smile and a long shelf life for your natural teeth. Don’t risk prosthetic rejection by taking the easy way out. Know your options, and make choices based on the best information available!