Introduction

According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (AAOMS) and the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), 69% of adults 35 to 44 years of age have lost at least one permanent tooth due to dental caries, periodontitis, accidents, or failed endodontic therapy. The AAID states that more than 35 million Americans are partially edentulous or edentulous. By age 74, 26% of adults in the United States are edentulous. In recent years, the demand for dental implants has risen greatly. The success rate of dental implants has been reported in the scientific literature to be approximately 95-98%.1,3 It is estimated approximately 500,000 dental implants are placed in the United States annually.4 Not only have placement techniques improved, but the benefits that implants provide for patients have increased as well. Dental implants improve appearance, confidence, and self-esteem. Dental implants also preserve remaining teeth, improve a person’s ability to speak and masticate properly, and eliminate the need for other types of fixed and removable prostheses. Because dental implants present a significant financial investment, both the patient and the dental team’s commitment to long-term care are vital to dental implant success.