By Salma Mashkoor and Kamran Zamanian, PhD, iData Research Inc
The dental implant fixtures and final abutment market involves the markets for dental implant fixtures, final abutments, dental implant surgical kits, treatment planning software and surgical guides. As implantology is increasingly integrated into the educational curriculum of general practitioners (GPs), the total market is expected to grow accordingly. However, the prevalence of companies offering bundled deals for their device is placing a cap on the potential growth for the overall market.
Overall Market to be Pushed Forward as GPs Become Increasingly Familiar with Implantology
Until recently, conventional dental training did not include dental implant training as part of the curriculum. Therefore, post-graduate education training programs have been a key component in increasing the number of dental professionals who are qualified to place implants. With regards to treatment planning software and surgical guides, GPs who have recently entered the implant market business usually place implants on a smaller scale and therefore are less willing to pay high equipment costs. As implantology becomes the norm in the workflow of a GP, they will be less reluctant to invest in the associated equipment and materials.
Increasing Incidence of Bundled Deals Limits Market Growth
As in the past, the majority of dental implant procedures are performed by oral surgeons and periodontists. As these experts typically require implants in large quantities, they tend to buy associated products in bulk. Many premium implant companies offer big-scale orders at a discounted price, thereby allowing them to maintain a competitive edge over value and discount implant providers, as well as accommodate to the needs of oral surgeons and periodontists. In addition to discounted sales, implant companies that offer a complete product portfolio of dental implant materials often cross-promote between their products in bundled deals. For instance, this may translate into a large-scale implant fixture purchase with complimentary final abutments.
Treatment planning software is most significantly impacted by this trend. In the past, this may not have been so dominant, but as of 2016, bundling treatment planning software with other products, especially digital machines, is increasingly common. This, unfortunately, heavily cuts into stand-alone software sales and is cannibalizing the market as a whole.
Surgical Guides Continue to Experience High Growth
The most notable growth exhibited has been in the surgical guide market. Surgical guides, a relatively recent addition to the market representing a highly relevant product in relation to the growing trend of GPs entering the dental implant market. Growth in the surgical guides market has been the result of the distribution of free treatment planning software and the growth of more inexpensive surgical guide options. However, though the surgical guide market is expected to demonstrate a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.8%, its counterpart, the treatment planning software market, is expected to remain relatively flat due to the prevalence of bundling the software with other products for free and outsourcing the tasks completed by the treatment planning software itself.
Nobel Biocare Leads the Overall U.S. Market for Dental Implants and Final Abutments
The majority share of the overall market is accounted for by premium implant companies such as Nobel Biocare, Straumann, Dentsply Sirona and Zimmer Biomet. Nobel Biocare has long been the global leader in the dental implant fixture market, and has been able to maintain its leading market share in the U.S. by dominating the premium implant market. Despite the growing popularity of discounted implant products, Nobel Biocare creates value for their consumers through brand loyalty and bundling deals for large-scale purchases.
Although the competition has been tight amongst the premium implant providers, Nobel Biocare has been able to surpass Straumann by undercutting prices to lure in more customers. The company also benefits from operating within all of the implant fixture, final abutment and implant instrument kit markets. The entire range of products under NobelActive® maintained strong growth rates in 2016, over the previous year. Other developments aiding growth have included implants for the NobelReplace® Conical Connection (CC) and NobelReplace® Platform Shift (PS). Nobel Biocare’s solution combines the NobelProcera® Angulated Screw Channel (ASC) abutment with their Omnigrip tool. Furthermore, NobelProcera® abutments are not only compatible with Nobel brand implants, but with other major implant systems as well. The wide span of abutments offered by the company allows them to capitalize on every need within the market. Nobel Biocare also offers treatment planning software and surgical guide products. However, due to the emergence of relatively inexpensive solutions in the respective markets, Nobel Biocare has not been able to claim a notable share of the treatment planning software space.
Moving forward, Nobel Biocare is expected to improve its position within the implant market, especially as a result of the company’s recent entry into the dental regenerative industry. As a result of this venture, it is expected that Nobel Biocare will attract consumers with its xenograft and mineralized allograft products. These additions to the company’s portfolio will allow for implant business to grow through strategies such as cross-promotion.
About The Authors
Salma Mashkoor is a research analyst at iData Research and is the lead researcher for the Global Market Report Suite for Dental Materials. Her current work includes the 2016 U.S Dental Materials Market Report Suite.
Kamran Zamanian, Ph.D., is president, CEO, and a founding partner of iData Research. He has spent over 20 years working in the market research industry.