Commoditization Won't Stall U.S. Dental Implant Market Growth

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Commoditization Won't Stall U.S. Dental Implant Market Growth

A greater variety of products are entering the dental implant market, competition is increasing and fewer customers are seeking specific premium brands. While commoditization is generally beneficial for customers looking to pay less, it means that the markets experience limitations that reduce growth potential. However, despite this trend, the U.S. dental implant and final abutment market is projected to experience growth in the range of 5% per year. Even though discount pricing and product bundling have limited revenue, this sustained growth is a result of shifting patient and dentist preferences and increased awareness of dental implant restorations.

Trends in the Overall Dental Implant and Final Abutment Market

Dental Implant and Final Abutment Market

The U.S. dental implant and final abutment market is poised to experience mid-single-digit growth through 2025, reaching over $1.5 billion, as reported in a recent study by iData Research. This analysis includes the markets for dental implants, final abutments, instrument kits, treatment planning software and surgical guides.

These markets are growing in response to increased demand from dentists, particularly general practitioners (GPs), who are placing implants in greater numbers. Consumer awareness of implant-supported restorations is also growing, due to nationwide marketing and positive patient outcomes. Conversely, the proliferation of low-cost competitors and general competitive pressure are factors limiting market growth.

Dental Implant Market Transitioning to More Affordable Options

The established premium implant brands are facing increased competition from their low-cost counterparts. The increasing volume of GPs placing implants has prompted shifts in dentist purchasing patterns, such as less brand loyalty and more price sensitivity. Therefore, implants priced in the value (mid-level) and discount (most affordable) ranges are attracting new customers, who are less likely to be able to differentiate between the numerous brands currently on the market. Many popular discount competitors originate from South Korea, Argentina, Brazil and Israel. The commoditization of dental implants has applied negative pressure on revenue in recent years, and will continue to do so through 2025. However, the increasing number of general dentists now offering and promoting implants is keeping growth stable.

Transition to CAD/CAM Abutments Fueling Final Abutment Market

Final abutment sales are directly correlated with the sales of dental implants, and are similarly transitioning towards discount and value brands. Abutments made using CAD/CAM are customized for the patient, but they require less time and effort to create than other custom abutments. Therefore, CAD/CAM abutments command a price markup from standard stock abutments, but substantial price declines and streamlined production methods have resulted in increased CAD/CAM product use. The efficiency of CAD/CAM technology is improving, due to major investments in equipment by the foremost implant companies. This is set to drive growth, as CAD/CAM final abutments still command a higher average selling price than pre-fabricated stock abutments.

Bundling and Discounting Moderating Growth in Instrument Kit and Treatment Software Markets

The dental implant instrument kit market consists of specialized products used to perform dental implant procedures, such as drills, reamers, ratchets and inserters/retrievers. Instrument kits are important for successful implant procedures, especially for dental specialists, who place hundreds of implants per year. However, due to the competitive nature of the implant market, manufacturers are increasingly attracting new customers by giving away these kits for free with bulk implant orders.

A similar trend has emerged in the market for treatment planning software. Leading implant companies view complimentary treatment planning software as a way to ensure brand loyalty from high-value clients. On the other hand, smaller competitors are attempting to entice clients with free software as well. This has, however, resulted in growth within the surgical guide market. In fact, complimentary treatment planning software has spurred double-digit growth in the surgical guide market in 2018.

Increasingly Competitive U.S. Market Despite Premium Companies Leading the Field

Implant Market Share Comparison

Established global premium implant companies, such as Dentsply Sirona, Nobel Biocare, Straumann and Zimmer Biomet, have long been the dominant forces in the U.S. dental implant and final abutment market. That being said, the competitive landscape is becoming increasingly crowded, due to the rise of value and discount implant businesses, driven by the new wave of GPs practicing implantology in the United States.

Premium companies have adapted to this change by pursuing acquisitions of more affordable implant brands, thus maintaining their brand image while still expanding their market coverage into segments with high growth potential. Examples of value implant companies acquired by premium players include Neodent and MIS Implants, now owned by Straumann and Dentsply Sirona, respectively. Meanwhile, under the Danaher Corporation’s umbrella, Nobel Biocare operates alongside their mid-priced counterpart, Implant Direct. In July 2018, Danaher announced they would be spinning off their dental business into a publicly traded company next year.

More detailed information on the market is available in U.S. Market Report Suite for Dental Implants and Final Abutments 2019 - MedSuite, a market research report from iData Research, Inc.

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 their research go to https://idataresearch.com.

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