The Dental Device Market
The dental device industry has seen several exciting changes throughout the past year. Changing population dynamics and the introduction of new technologies, among other market factors, has driven growth in many market segments. Below is a list of the dental device markets that experienced the most growth last year within their respective industries:
Fastest-Growing Dental Devices in the United States
- Surgical Guides
- All-Tissue Lasers
- Caries Detection Devices
- Dental Growth Factors
- Implant Bars
- Dental Anesthetics
- CAD/CAM Materials and Rapid Prototyping Systems
- Cone Beam Computed Tomography Scanners
Surgical Guides (Dental Implants)
Surgical guides are a fairly recent addition to the dental implant market. They have emerged, along with treatment planning software, and are becoming increasingly common. This market segment has been growing in recent years, as the number of GPs trained in implant placement has increased and the focus on accuracy has become more widespread. Specialists are increasingly recognizing the benefits of surgical guides as a means of standardization. In fact, it is expected that the use of surgical guides will become common practice for nearly all dental implant procedures, as more professionals discover their value.
All-Tissue Lasers (Dental Lasers)
All-tissue lasers are systems that can be used on both soft and hard tissue in the intraoral cavity.
All-tissue lasers are predominantly Er:YAG lasers, which offer attractive benefits because they allow the dentist to decrease the need to use anesthesia during the process, leaving the patient with a tingling sensation, but little to no pain. Especially in the removal of tooth decay, this method has proven to be effective and non-intrusive. As such, greater patient comfort is a significant driver in this market, as well as an additional revenue source because laser usage is conducive to a higher patient turnover rate, since they enable procedures to be performed much more efficiently and effectively.
Caries Detection Devices (Dental Operatory Equipment)
The dental caries detection device segment exhibited the highest growth in the dental operatory equipment market, despite being generally limited by market cannibalization from the intraoral cameras segment. While many professionals still use classic radiography techniques to detect caries, an increased awareness of the health risks of radiography to patients—particularly children and pregnant women—has caused some patients to prefer methods of caries detection that do not use radiography. This is encouraging dentists to incorporate caries detection devices into their practices.
Dental Growth Factor (Dental Bone Graft Substitutes and Other Biomaterials)
In the overall market for dental bone graft substitutes and other biomaterials, the dental growth factor segment held the highest growth rate. Its impressive growth was kickstarted by the introduction of new products into the industry landscape, as three of the four products currently on the market were introduced less than a decade ago. Additionally, convenient handling for dental providers means that dental growth factor is easier to apply than conventional bone graft materials, which has led to an increased acceptance of the product.
Implant Bars (Overdentures)
The implant bar market had the highest growth in 2018 when compared to adjacent segments in the overdentures and implant bridges market. While implant bars are fabricated through traditional casting and copy milling, they can also be made entirely using CAD/CAM technology. The latter segment is dominating this overall segment as more refined technologies are developed, and this trend is set to continue throughout the forecast period. A growing elderly demographic in the United States is leading to increased procedure volumes for full-arch restorations, further driving the market. Growth in this segment mirrors that of the dental implant market, and thus it is highly dependent on it.
Dental Anesthetic (Dental Materials)
Dental anesthetic has long been a staple in countless dental procedures. Growth in this segment is mainly due to an upsurge in the topical anesthetic category. While topical anesthetics can only affect soft oral tissue, heightened prices, due to new delivery methods other than the typical topical gel—like sprays and needleless syringes—are predicted to drive this segment throughout the forecast period. Additionally, the number of procedures that require anesthesia is projected to increase in the coming years as well, as both older and younger generations are opting for dental surgeries to care for their dental health.
CAD/CAM Materials and Rapid Prototyping Systems (Digital Dentistry)
Both the dental CAD/CAM materials segment and the rapid prototyping systems segment tied for the highest growth rate in their industry. The CAD/CAM materials market was driven by a heightened demand for aesthetically pleasing restorations. As such, zirconia experienced an upsurge in unit sales within both block and disk formats. Additionally, in the rapid prototyping systems segment, growth has been largely due to productivity enhancements for lab technicians. Not only are these methods less time-consuming, but by completely digitizing and automating the model process, inaccuracies are reduced, allowing for better restorations to be made.
Dentures (Dental Prosthetics)
Dentures are the largest segment in the overall dental prosthetics market. Older patients are far more likely to be edentulous than younger generations. As a result, and as the American population over age 65 continues to grow throughout the forecast period, the denture market will mirror this growth. Additionally, as CAD/CAM and 3D printing technology becomes increasingly refined, dentures will become much more commonplace, as the number of visits required for patients, as well as the material cost, will decrease, giving patients additional incentives.
Cone Beam Computed Tomography Scanners (Dental Imaging)
In an otherwise mature and stagnant market, cone beam computed tomography scanners (CBCTs) have exhibited the highest growth of all dental imaging devices. This is largely due to the higher demand for dental implants, as the rate of edentulism is increasing with the aging population, thus causing more patients to choose to replace missing teeth. As dental implants become more popular, a greater number of specialists and GPs will use CBCT scanners to take images of a patient’s jaw in order to evaluate the implant placement.