Denture Wearer Demographics
Based our research, we found that the buying journey/path for purchasing dentures for the US customer begins with either a prosthodontist consultation or seeking advice on social media and online communities. Although there are options for online ordering and purchasing of dentures, denture wearers prefer to trust their dentist on purchasing, maintaining and the need for change of the dentures. However, there was a lack of data available online for the number of people using dentures and for the demographic profile of the average US dental customer.
Overview of Buying Path for Purchasing Dentures in the US:
- US patients are advised to start the procedure of obtaining a new denture (or first denture) by visiting an experienced prosthodontist first.
- Seventeen percent of the participants in an independent study claim to have paid more than $4,000 for their current denture. The majority in the study (58%) said they paid between $600 and $2,500 for their current denture.
- Although there are multiple options for online purchase of a new denture, 13% of the participants in an independent study say they will get one done when their dentist recommends.
- 41.23 million Americans state they use dentures in 2019.
- The most well-paid prosthodontist practices are located in Virginia and Florida, which shows such services are more affordable in the states of Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.
- Many people tend to get information on how to purchase their dentures on the Internet, using social media or webpages for denture wearers support.
Denture Wearers Online:
- According to a GSK Study, dentures are changing many aspects of a patient's social interaction such as confidence at work, love life, food habits and diet, oral hygiene importance etc. This could be a reason why so many people wearing dentures go online to social media or communities and share their personal experiences.
- There are theme-devoted websites like "Dentures A New Smile" and "Denture Living Customer Community" which are purposed to help denture wearers with their experience. They also provide advice on getting dentures done.
- Users are very active in the forum and comments section of "Dentures A New Smile" and "Denture Living Customer Community" which shows denture wearers are showing support for each other and value their knowledge and experience highly.
US Dental Customer Demographic Profile:
- An average 39% of adult dental customers in the US claim aged 18-65+ think their overall oral condition is good and an average of 31.5% believe their overall oral condition is very good according to a 2015 research by ADA (American Dental Association).
- The dental care coverage for US dental patients aged 18-64 seems to differ geographically. The northeast parts of the US (including PA, NY, NJ) have significantly higher dental care coverage than the US average whilst the South Atlantic, East South Central, West South Central and Pacific regions have lower coverage compared to the US average.
- Adults aged 18-65+ most commonly believe bad teeth can affect their lives (personal and professional) in a negative way.
- Fifty-three percent of the respondents in the GSK survey about dentures and the changes they impose were 44 years old or younger. This shows a significant percent of the average dental customers have dentures made in middle or younger age.
The research team began with the search of denture wearers demographic profile through the Internet. There were no official reports easily available, so we directed our research towards denture-related practices which could have published official data and numbers such as national associations, state association (concerning the Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey), dental technician's reports, dental insurance covering dentures and oral health association reports. There was hardly any relevant data on the topic. No numbers or clear percentages of the US population was expressed on the webpages of those institutions.
We tried to find some connection between the number of practicing prosthodontists in the states and the number of patients they have. No other data was found except for graphics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics which showed that the most-well paid prosthodontists are located in Virginia and Florida. This led to the logical conclusion prosthodontist services are more expensive in these states and more affordable in NY, NJ and PA.
As for the social media interactions and online communities for denture wearers, the personal experience described by a blogger was a good setting point to find online communities where denture wearers share their experience and actively give advice to each other.
The strategy for finding information on the demographic profile of the average US dental customer succeeded to find out the dental care coverage in different states which presented a national overview. No statistics containing gender, ethnicity or age were accessible. The American Dental Association provided a document with research results among the US adults patients.
We were unable to find the number of denture wearers in the US or more specifically in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. We decided to look for reports published online by governmental organizations but there were no publicly available reports. We then searched for documents presenting national statistics in the Census Bureau but there was no relevant data available.
Our next strategy was to look for data reported by dental insurance companies, dental technicians' laboratories, prosthodontist's reports and state (PA, NY, NJ) oral health organizations and associations. There were no numbers or percentages available on the number of people using dentures.
We then turned to the American Dental Association website to try to find any national report on denture wearers, but there were no available documents specifying how many people or what percentage of national/or PA/NY/NJ population use dentures. We were also unable to find any paywall sources with relevant data.
We were also unable to find information on the demographic profile of the average US dental customer. We looked through government websites but there was no available data on the average US dental customer profile
We tried to extract data from any medical websites devoted to creating statistics and graphics, but the only information we found was the dental care coverage summary on the states which showed PA, NY and NJ had significantly higher dental care coverage than the US average.
We attempted to triangulate and use Census Bureau or ADA as a source of information but we could not find any reports containing relevant data.