According to the latest findings by iData Research, the global dental material market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.1% over the forecast period to reach slightly over US$10 billion (€9.1 billion) in market value by 2029. The full report suite on the global market for dental materials includes dental cements, impression materials, direct restorative materials, temporary restorative materials, bonding agents, core build-up materials and anaesthetics.
The growth in the market will be sustained by an increasing demand for dental procedures, fuelled by an ageing population. In addition, the continued adoption of cosmetic dentistry will propel the development of corresponding dental materials, such as self-adhesive resin, aesthetic or adhesive cement and other products that facilitate tooth-coloured restorations. These trends are expected to drive the demand for innovative and technologically advanced materials and, fuelled by global inflation, will result in higher average selling prices and market values.
The dental material market has historically been correlated with the unemployment rate and availability of dental insurance coverage, as the latter is provided under employment benefits. Lack of dental insurance will continue to limit the overall growth in the dental material market. However, lack of dental insurance will also continue to drive development of cost-sensitive and affordable solutions. An unstable economy and changing geopolitical landscape can potentially increase the unemployment rate, which would limit access to dental care.
Development and adoption of digital dentistry will continue to partially limit the growth in the dental material market. Intra-oral scanners, CAD/CAM technology and 3D printing are responsible for the decelerating growth in the dental impression and temporary restorative material markets. It is estimated that, after a dental office integrates an intra-oral scanner into its operations, its consumption of traditional impression material drops by 70%. Similarly, CAD/CAM technology and 3D printing allow in-office fabrication of same-day restorations in a matter of hours. This meets patients’ desire for rapid complete treatments and avoids the need for provisionalisation in restorative procedures.
Drivers and limiters
The global dental material market is projected to be driven by the combination of demographic factors, technological development and product improvement across dental restorative materials, cements and core build-up materials. The product improvement, combined with global inflation, will also transform into price growth in corresponding product categories.
The ageing population remains a major driver of the substantial demand for dental treatment. According to the World Health Organization, there were nearly one billion people aged 60 or over in the world in 2020, constituting 13% of the total global population. By 2050, that number is expected to double to approximately 2.1 billion people and constitute 22% of the world’s population. The growing elderly population is increasing the drive to replace and repair old restorations.
Cosmetic dentistry is driving growth across the dental material market. The demand for tooth-coloured restorations is propelling the adoption of biocompatible enamel-coloured resin-modified glass ionomer and composite resin restorative materials. Shade matching and the bonding technology of these products demand higher prices, boosting growth in the overall market.
Innovations in dental materials are focused on improved characteristics, such as self-adhesiveness, appropriate polymerisation methods (dual-polymerising mostly) and material delivery options. Dual-polymerising materials provide a faster polymerisation time owing to their light- and self-polymerisation capabilities, as well as increased translucency. Delivery options such as automix syringes, capsules and premixed single-component materials offer time-saving benefits, as well as reduced material waste.
Direct restoration offers time- and cost-saving benefits and is slowly but steadily driving the development of technology and materials to allow conversion from indirect to direct restoration. Bulk fill composite is an example of such a driver. Using a bulk fill technique, cavities up to 5 mm deep can be filled with a single layer of highly filled composite restorative material. Improved mixing tips, automix syringes, ergonomic design and other packaging improvements promise ease of use and less wastage. These improvements will drive the market by appealing to dentists because of the ease of use and less waste and to patients because of the possibility of completing more treatments in one visit.
In the case of local anaesthetics, product development is focused on more patient-friendly solutions. Minimising patient discomfort and anxiety is a major concern for dentists. Products allowing for less distress in the chair will drive the market forwards with slightly higher prices and increasing unit sales.
The global dental material market is projected to be limited by a combination of factors, including limited dental coverage, alternative solutions, improved dental health and promotion of a healthy lifestyle and habits, technological advancement, price competition and global supply chain disruption.
New technological developments in different segments of the dental material industry may have detrimental effects on another segment. In the case of bonding agents, developments in self-adhesive restorative materials are slowly starting to pose a threat, as they can remove the need for bonding agents altogether in the future. In addition, the adoption of digital dentistry is responsible for decreasing the need for selected dental products, including dental impression materials and, to some extent, temporary restorative materials.
Medical insurance companies typically cover a very small percentage of dental procedure costs, prompting customers to contribute with co-pay or a deductible, thus limiting access to care. Combined with availability of products for daily dental hygiene and promotion of a healthy lifestyle, preventive dental care will eventually diminish the need for some restoration procedures in the future.
Dental materials are available in various options, including standalone products and kits with dedicated refill options. The variety of offerings results in a wide range of prices per unit. Manufacturers can sell directly to customers, offering considerable discounts. The combination of direct sales, distributors, private labels and group purchasing organisations creates a broad range of prices, generally limiting price growth across the market.
The February 2022 geopolitical crisis in eastern Europe has been affecting global supply chains, resulting in price increases for consumer goods, electronics and raw materials. Coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, the supply chain disruption is significantly limiting the continuing growth of the medical and dental markets. In addition, sanctions imposed by the US, EU and others could have an adverse impact on the global economy, including financial markets, energy markets, currency rates and raw materials.
Recent noteworthy events in the dental material market
In March 2022, 3M announced that it had suspended business operations in Russia after the invasion of Ukraine.
In April 2022, Ultradent Products established a new subsidiary in South Korea.
In September 2022, Kerr Dental announced the relaunch of Nexus resin-modified glass ionomer luting cement.
In October 2022, 3M launched 3M Filtek Matrix, an anterior restoration solution.
In December 2022, Septodont completed the acquisition of Biomedical Tissues, a French medical manufacturer specialising in tissue engineering, including guided bone regeneration, for periodontal and dental surgery.
In January 2023, DirectaDentalGroup announced the acquisition of Doxa Dental, strengthening the company’s portfolio with the Ceramir product line. Also in January 2023, DMG announced that LuxaCore Z Dual had been awarded the DENTAL ADVISOR Preferred Product Award for the composite core material category for the 12th year in a row.
In February 2023, Ultradent Products announced the return of its Ultracare topical anaesthetic gel. That same month, the company also released J-Temp, a premixed, light-polymerised temporary resin.
More information from iData Research about the dental material market can be found at idataresearch.com.