Journal of Dental Implants
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EDITORIAL
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 41

From the Editor's desk


Editor, Journal of Dental Implants, Diplomate, International Congress of Oral Implantologists

Date of Web Publication30-Dec-2011

Correspondence Address:
Rajiv S Khosla
Editor, Journal of Dental Implants, Diplomate, International Congress of Oral Implantologists

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-6781.91278

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How to cite this article:
Khosla RS. From the Editor's desk. J Dent Implant 2011;1:41

How to cite this URL:
Khosla RS. From the Editor's desk. J Dent Implant [serial online] 2011 [cited 2019 Dec 9];1:41. Available from: http://www.jdionline.org/text.asp?2011/1/2/41/91278


   The Missing Dimension Top


Oct 1, 2011 was celebrated as the World Elders Day. The retirement years - defined for so long as a time to rest and do nothing - are becoming a time of high activity and purpose as evident in the three major metros, Chennai, Bengaluru and Pune, where "Retirement India Expo 2011" was held in the last 3 weeks of Sep 2011. In the words of Dheeraj Sinha, Editor of Consumer India, 2011, nearly 27 million elderly live in the top three SEC segments - meaning they have the purchasing power to make their lives padded by supports and enhancements.

Aging of society is unprecedented in the history of the world. In the developed countries, people who are 60+ have crossed the 7% mark set by the UN to be considered aging nations. India has crossed this percentage and is an aging nation. From 2006 to 2050, while the overall population rises by 40%, those over 60 years will increase by 270% and the 80+ population will increase by 500%. By 2050, India will have the highest number of 50+ people, overtaking China's current primacy. While China became old before it became rich, India will become rich before it grows old. Due to medical advances and lifestyle enhancements, Indians will now live up to an average 67 years as compared to 42 years in 1947. There are 179 million people who are 50+ in India today.

Our major concern as practitioners of implant dentistry on a worldwide basis should relate to this aging population. Regardless of the degree of body breakdown, ingestion, mastication, digestion and the resultant nutrition are of paramount importance for the aged - whether they are at home, in assisted living, in a nursing home or a home for the aged. By the age of 60, they will have lost on an average one-third of their teeth. As Atul Gawande, Assistant Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School says in his article entitled "The way we age now," "scrupulous dental care can help avert tooth loss, but growing old gets in the way." This is not surprising, since there are problems of diminished saliva, recurrent decay, side effects of medicines, inability to brush the remaining teeth properly due to arthritis, Parkinson's syndrome and other debilitating conditions, etc., leading to eventual tooth loss despite the valiant efforts of dentists. Implant-supported prostheses-whether removable or fixed-are miles ahead of conventional removable prostheses in the rehabilitation of partial or full edentulous cases. Until we fulfill the dental implications of the "Human Genome project" (HGP), sponsored in the United States by the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health, and the promise of growth factors that lead to regeneration, we can satisfy the needs of the elderly by the use of dental implants that stabilize fixed or removable prostheses.

No denture sores, no adhesives, no embarrassing movement of dentition. There is a certain dignity that accompanies a stable dentition, and allows a patient to speak properly, smile, as well as eat well. This helps impart the missing dimension that fosters a reasonable and superior quality of life to our elders who, in our culture, are held in great reverence.

 
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