Overview

The American population is becoming more aware of the benefits of oral health as more information is provided. With more positives attributed to oral care, the overall dental market has seen an upward trend in more dental office visits for diagnostic and preventative procedures. However, this allowed identifying major threats to oral health and early treatment, resulting in a comparatively lower rate of operations to restore severely decayed teeth such as core build-ups, which have negatively affected the dental materials market. 

With such a tough market to be in, the market’s major players are currently referred to as the “Big 3” in the dental industry. The “Big 3” consists of 3M, Dentslpy Sirona and Kerr Corporation, collectively representing over half of the total U.S. dental materials market share. Outside of the “Big 3”, no other company holds a portion over 10% of the total market. 

Top Dental Materials Companies

  1. 3M
  2. Dentsply Sirona  
  3. Kerr Corporation

1. 3M

3M was the leader of the overall dental materials market in 2019, holding over 23% of the market. The company led in all segments except anesthetics. Their higher market positioning can be attributed to their extensive product release process. Before developing any new product, 3M conducts in-depth market analysis and extensive consultation with end-users to achieve a comprehensive understanding of market dynamics and the demands of end-users. This data enables 3M to develop technologically differentiated products that best meet the demands of oral health workers.

3M’s unique process continues into the post-market segment, where the company works to defend against all patent infringement with its extensive financial resources. Together, this strategy allows 3M to maintain a very strong presence in the dental materials market, especially in dental cements, where the company held the dominant share of the market.

2. Dentsply Sirona

Dentsply Sirona was the only major company to participate in all segments of the dental material market in 2019 and was the second-leading overall competitor holding over 16% of the market. Its strongest presence was in dental impressions and direct restoratives.

Dentsply Sirona’s dominance in the dental impression market is mostly due to the Aquasil Ultra® product line. This product was the leading Vinyl Polysiloxane impression material in the U.S. in 2019. It has been used as the material of choice in many prestigious dental schools over the years. The product is especially known for its versatility to fit dentists’ every need, providing hydrophilicity, dimensional stability, and lack of tearing. 

Dentsply Sirona’s position in the temporary restorative material market in 2019 stemmed from the company’s Integrity™ line, which offers exceptional quality in both transverse strength and flexural modulus.

3. Kerr Corporation

Like 3M, Kerr participated in all the segments of the dental materials market, except for dental local anesthetics. The company holds over 12% share of the total dental materials market, with a major share of the direct restorative market.

Kerr’s position in the dental cement market in 2019 was largely due to its dominance in temporary cements, with more than half of the total market share. The TempBond® product line is the bestselling temporary cement brand in the United States. The three versions of the product allow the dentist to cover the whole range of provisional restorations. 

Dental Materials Market Forecast

The primary driver of the dental materials market is the ageing generation born between 1944-1964. With 76 million people, this group has been valuable for the dental materials market. The baseline health of this generation has increased compared to previous generations; however, the dental needs of this population will increase with age. They are also at an increased risk of caries, due to gum recession and dry mouth from prescription medications. As such, this age group’s demand for dental care will increase with time.

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In contrast to this, medical insurance companies typically only cover a small percentage of the overall dental procedure costs, causing the customers to co-pay or utilize a deductible, thus limiting access to care. Employers are also not providing as high benefits to employees as they had in the past. This is compounded by the fact that insurance coverage limits for dental needs have not been increased for several years, despite the rising prices of dental prosthetics, restorations, and doctor visits. These factors make it increasingly less affordable for patients to see a dentist causing major consequences for the dental materials market. The shortage of insurance effect on the dental materials market is visible through the statistics that for every person that loses dental coverage in the United States, 11 dollars less is spent on dental supplies per year.

According to the latest market study by iData Research, overall, the U.S. dental materials market was valued at $1.5 billion in 2019. This is expected to increase over the forecast period at a rate of 3.7% to reach nearly $2 billion.