In an April 11, 2012 news release, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the worldwide incidence of dementia is projected to skyrocket in coming decades. The article cited 35.6 million cases worldwide in 2010, and projected 65.7 cases by 2030 and 115 million cases by 2050.
Longer life expectancy coupled with ongoing medical advancements is stated to be the cause of the increase. At the same time, improved medical care is also at the root of economic woes for countries struggling to provide long-term care for people with dementia. There are only eight countries worldwide with national programs to help people with dementia, and the U.S. is currently not among them.
So what does this have to do with dentistry? In our experience at NICD, there is a correlation between people who maintain optimal dental health throughout their lives and people who experience optimal quality of life in later decades. We have observed that when our aging patients are able to avoid major dental issues, they have more energy and resources to focus on their general health — and that’s our wish each of you.