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In the Asia-Pacific dental prosthetics market (crowns, bridges and dentures), product growth is driven by the ongoing transition to CAD/CAM production. Thus, materials predominantly used to fabricate dental restorations digitally, such as all-ceramics, are also increasing in market size. However, this movement to digital dentistry is occurring at differing rates across each of the 5 major Asia-Pacific regions, which are at different stages for a variety of economic and competitive reasons.
Trends in the Overall Digital Dentistry Market
The Asia-Pacific digital dentistry market is poised to experience high levels of growth through 2024, reaching almost $1.1 billion, as reported in a recent study by iData Research. This market analysis consists of CAD/CAM systems and CAD/CAM materials but not the emerging rapid-prototyping system market. CAD/CAM systems comprise CAD/CAM milling units, standalone lab scanners, full chairside systems and intraoral scanners. CAD/CAM materials include blocks and discs, from which dental prosthetics are milled. Market growth will result from innovative product applications, such as the increasing user base of intraoral scanners. While competitive price cuts and inexpensive solutions are reducing potential market growth, these adverse factors are counteracted by high unit demand.
Chart 1: Digital Dentistry Market by Country, Asia-Pacific, 2017-2024 (US$M)
Japan – Intraoral Scanners Gaining Approval
In 2017, the digital dentistry market in Japan grew significantly, in part due to a boom in the intraoral scanner segment. Multiple companies gained regulatory approval for their scanners in 2017, and purchase orders increased accordingly. Although Japan has not adopted CAD/CAM technology to the same extent as other developed nations, the proportion of dental prosthetics produced through the technology is expanding. The growing interest in intraoral scanners is also a result of the discouraging high price of full chairside CAD/CAM systems. Dental professionals are increasingly using intraoral scanners and sending their digital impressions to milling centers and dental laboratories for milling purposes.1,2
South Korea – Reimbursement Expansion Driving Significant Growth
The South Korean dental prosthetics and digital dentistry markets are expanding at a rapid pace usually observed in less developed markets. A key factor driving growth is the South Korean National Health Insurance Service’s move to increase coverage for dental implants and dentures. The patient cost for a dental implant was effectively halved for those older than 75 in 2014. By 2016, this coverage had incrementally extended to individuals over the age of 65, and was also expanded to cover dentures in that same year. These policy changes have driven demand for dental prosthetics and CAD/CAM technology in a market already burgeoning from dental tourism and digitization.3,4
Australia – Shifts Away from Full Chairside Systems Limiting Growth in this Mature Market
In 2017, Australia remained the most mature market for digital dentistry in the Asia-Pacific region. Similar to other developed markets, Australia was faced with a large installed base of chairside CAD/CAM systems, a market dominated by Dentsply Sirona. However, the CAD/CAM systems market is gradually shifting away from full chairside systems. Many dental professionals are opting to purchase intraoral scanners without an accompanying milling unit, instead taking advantage of local milling centers and laboratories for their milling needs.5,6
China – Aging Population and Economic Growth Driving Restorations Boom
China is experiencing high growth in digital dentistry products. The production of CAD/CAM materials in China has risen in recent years, as the country is known for its inexpensive zirconia products. The digital dentistry market in China is growing rapidly, even when compared to the rest of the region. Historically, dental health has been poor in China. Despite improvements, a 2010 survey by the Ministry of Health found the vast majority of the Chinese elderly between the age of 65 and 74 suffer from tooth decay. Thus, as the economy has grown, demand for dental restorations has risen. Moreover, the Chinese population is aging dramatically, with the population aged 60 years and over currently exceeding 200 million. The combination of inexpensive products and rising demand will drive the dental prosthetics and digital dentistry market in China.7,8
India – Transition to CAD/CAM Accelerating
While China is forecasted to become the world’s next major dental market, India remains the least developed in the Asia-Pacific region. Nevertheless, market growth in India is exceeding other countries in the region. Similar to the situation elsewhere, intraoral scanners are expected to spur growth in the CAD/CAM systems market. The transition to CAD/CAM technology is occurring at a high rate in India, despite its early stages of development. This is in part due to rising costs associated with production of conventional dental prosthetics, such as labour and transport. The Indian dental prosthetics and digital dentistry markets are poised to grow substantially through 2024.9,10
Crowding Asia-Pacific Market Despite Dentsply Sirona’s Market Leading Position
The competitive landscape in the Asia-Pacific CAD/CAM systems market includes a diverse range of multinational companies. After Dentsply International Inc. and Sirona Dental Solutions, Inc. completed a $14.5 billion merger in 2016, Dentsply Sirona attained the leading market share across the APAC region. However, the competitive landscape is becoming increasingly crowded, with multiple new products being brought to market. These products are inclusive of CAD/CAM milling units, standalone lab scanners, full chairside systems, and intraoral scanners. Due to the dominance of their CEREC® chairside CAD/CAM system, Dentsply Sirona was the market leader in 2017 by far, but inexpensive and innovative product series have reportedly gained market share in recent years.11
Chart 2: Competitive Landscape CAD/CAM Systems for the Overall Asia-Pacific Region (2017)
Dentsply Sirona. CAD/CAM [Internet]. 2017
About the Authors
Graeme Fell is a research analyst at iData Research and was the lead researcher for the 2018 Asia-Pacific Market Report Suites for Dental Prosthetics and Digital Dentistry. His work has also included a number of other research projects in other medical device industries.
Jeffrey Wong is the Analyst Director at iData Research. Through many years of analysis, he has been the lead on most of iData’s medical, dental, and pharmaceutical market research and now drives research strategy, product development, and consulting research.
About iData Research
iData Research is an international market research and consulting firm focused on providing market intelligence for the medical device, dental and pharmaceutical industries. To learn more about the research mentioned in this article go to https://idataresearch.com/product-category/dental/.