- Baby Boomers expect to live longer, invest in dental care
- Researchers develop dental implant that kills bacteria
- Infection leading reason implants fail
The dental materials market in the United States is forecasted to grow as Baby Boomers age, according to iData Research.
In 2016, the eldest members of the Baby Boomer generation turned 70. This generation is expected to live longer than its processors which means Baby Boomers are more likely to invest in dental care. Because of this, most retire with all or most of their teeth.
However, when Baby Boomers retire, many lose their insurance coverage.
“Over 70% of retiring baby boomers have no dental insurance. This is significant because that mass of boomers is highly unlikely to return for the vital regular six-month cleaning visit,” Dr. Steve Mascarin, a doctor of dental surgery, told Forbes.
Mascarin says routine care is required to prevent a need for dental implants and bridges.
Another trend in the dental materials market that is aiding growth is new delivery-system technologies that make it possible to reduce waste.
Dental Implant Kills Bacteria
Infection is the main side effect of dental implants. To solve this problem, Belgian researchers have developed a dental implant with a reservoir containing the antibacterial agent chlorhexidine commonly used in mouthwash.
Results from tests of the implant were published in the journal European Cells & Materials. Chlorhexidine effectively killed both Streptococcus mutans, the most common form of mouth bacteria, and bacteria that had been growing on the implant prior to testing.
“The implant is made of a porous composite material, so that the drugs gradually diffuse from the reservoir to the outside of the implant, which is in direct contact with the bone cells. As a result, the bacteria can no longer form a biofilm,” Dr. Kaat De Cremer, from the Centre of Microbial and Plant Genetics at KU Leuven, said in the journal.
Biofilm is a slime enclosed mass of bacteria. They are difficult to treat and sometimes are antibiotic resistant.
Infection is especially problematic with newer dental implants. These implants have a titanium screw with a rough surface, increasing the contact area that is used to attached the implant to bone. However, the rough surface also attracts bacteria. Often, infection forms not long after implantation.
Researchers’ implant’s screw is made of a titanium-silica composite. By the time the chlorhexidine has been used, the implant will have been integrated into bone tissue.
Approximately 10% of implants need to be removed because of infection or osseointegrating problems. Osseointegrating is how the implant anchors to bone.
- The average doctor reports more than 100% waste when using dental cements.When using dental cements, the average dentist reports more than 100% waste.
- The three main competitors in the dental material market are 3M ESPE, which is preferred by dentists because it has been in the market the longest, Kerr, known for amalgam materials, and DENTSPLY Caulk/Pharmaceutical, known for VPS impression materials.
- These three companies are forecasted to continue to dominate the market for the next decade.