NEW YORK (AP) Nearly 20 million adults in the United States are missing teeth, according to dental researchers.
The study is part of a larger trend that shows the prevalence of tooth loss in the U.S. has been rising.
Researchers say a growing number of patients are being given the option to get their teeth whitened or to get dental implants that will remove cavities and prevent tooth decay.
They’re also looking for ways to help patients avoid infections and treat dental problems without the use of expensive implants.
The researchers found that in 2016, 1 in 10 adults had tooth loss, and nearly a quarter of those had more than three crowns removed, the most common form of dental disease.
Dentists say people are more likely to lose teeth if they’re overweight or obese.
A study published in the journal Annals of Oral Surgery showed that people with higher body mass index were more likely than others to have tooth loss.
“It’s definitely not a new thing that we’re seeing.
I think it’s an increase in people having to make these choices, and it’s something that has been there for a long time,” said Dr. Karen Stokke, director of the division of preventive dentistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.”
We’re seeing a lot of adults who are getting older who are experiencing tooth loss,” she said.
People are often told that tooth whitening is a common practice in the dental industry.
But in fact, there’s been a decline in the number of dental procedures performed since the mid-1990s, according.
The majority of procedures are done on the floor, with people sitting down to fill out forms, Stokkke said.
A lot of dentists believe the increasing number of procedures on the ground and on chairs and porches is a reflection of the growing prevalence of dental decay in the country.
“I think it could be because people have been living longer, which has been linked to having a lot more health issues,” Stokka said.
“So the more they’re exposed to these conditions, the more likely they are to have problems.”
People with tooth loss are more often referred to a dentist than someone who has had a crown or a tooth implant removed, said Dr., John Fuchs, director and chief of dental medicine at St. Luke’s Medical Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
Fuchs said a lot less dentists are doing preventive dentures because people are being told to use them as a last resort, and people are often reluctant to use a dental appliance.
He said the more people get their hands on dental implants, the higher the risk they have for complications and tooth loss from infection.
Furs, braces and toothpasteThe researchers also examined dental wear and decay, including wear and loss of teeth due to bacteria, infection and damage from age.
They found that people are increasingly using dental care products to help prevent tooth loss or remove them from their teeth.
The team identified more than 4.6 billion crowns and 2.2 billion implants in the American population in 2016.
But people who have lost their teeth are increasingly being given options to whiten them or to wear braces to help keep them clean.
“For a lot, people are not aware of that they’re not getting all the benefits from the product,” Fuchs said.
He said that as the number and types of products proliferate, so do the costs.
He pointed out that a tooth whitener costs about $200.
A denture costs about two to three times as much as a tooth-whitening toothbrush.
Dentures and braces cost about $1,000 each.
Stokkkke also noted that a dentist can’t charge more for an implant or crown that isn’t working.
The device can take months to replace a tooth, she said, and there are no guarantees that the implant will hold up for years.
She said that a lot people don’t know how often they should wear braces or whether they need to wear them to prevent tooth erosion.
She also said that the lack of dental care options has become so common that people feel like they’re going to have to make more drastic changes in their lives.
“The more we are aware of this, the greater the likelihood that people will have to have teeth that aren’t there anymore, Fuchs added.”
There are so many things that people can do to prevent or control tooth loss that people just don’t understand about,” Stkkkkel said.