Market intelligence firm indicates that the dental restoratives markets will grow to $11.5 Billion by 2030. What does that mean to your practice and patients?
$11.5 billion is a lot of money by anyone's standards. However, per market intelligence company Transparency Market Research's (TMR) report from early 2022, it is also the projected revenue of dental restorative materials product sales by 2030. So, what does that mean to your practice and clinical outcomes? We look at the benefits of a growing commercial market for materials and what that means to your practice and patients.
Before diving into the details of the TMR report, let's look at the report on the dental market as a whole, also released earlier this year. Precedence Research, a strategic market insight company from Canada/India, suggest in their analysis of the global dental market that a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) percentage of 6.4 or $698.8 billion by 2030. The US market for dental services will represent $196 billion by 2027. Precedence identifies the following in their report that are of note:1
With this increasing demand for dentistry worldwide, TMR reports growth in the restorative dental materials industry. As manufacturers produce improved restoratives that perform better and look great, more people want them. By improving filler technology, manufacturers create resin-based materials that exhibit less shrinkage, achieve better depth of cure, and finished restorations that can better withstand bite occlusal forces in patients' mouths. In addition, offering biocompatible and antimicrobial products has helped increase demand for these materials.
Like the Precedence Research Report, the TMR report also identifies cosmetic dentistry's constant evolution as a critical driver of growth in dentistry. As disposable income grows in the US and worldwide, the demand for restorative materials that satisfy patients' esthetic concerns is increasing. Also, raising awareness about the longevity of dental restoration materials is expanding acceptance of dental restoration materials, which increases the demand for them in practices.2
So, What Does This Mean For Your Practice?
When it comes to your dental practice, these predictions might seem irrelevant. However, with that much revenue on the line, they might have more relevance than you think.
These numbers indicate an opportunity for dental restorative material manufacturers to improve their bottom lines with a growing demand for dental restorative materials. However, competition compels manufacturers to innovate and address what matters to dental practices the most, so you buy their product over the competition.
What does matter most to clinicians? Jason Goodchild, DMD, Vice President of Clinical Affairs for Premier Dental Products Company, says that dental practices operate on small margins. When facing rising costs, dental practice stakeholders either need to do more dentistry or spend less on what they do—or both.
"Every dentist is looking for better, safer, faster,” Dr Goodchild says.
Manufacturers have different concerns, like how to create value with innovation and capture market share. Dr Goodchild says it can be challenging to generate enough innovation that a clinician is interested in hearing about "something new,” but not so much that it disrupts workflow. Also, manufacturers don’t want to mess with what’s already working for them. An example is Traxodent® Hemodent Paste by Premier, Goodchild explains.
“It's a fantastic product and it hasn't changed much for a long time because, when you hit the bullseye, where do you go from there?” Dr Goodchild says. “So, you don't want to mess it up by trying to improve it.”
Moreover, manufacturers want to move the needle that dentists care about, Dr Goodchild explains. Otherwise, clinicians are unlikely to move from their current system that works in their hands and delivers consistent results.
"We dentists are very stuck in our ways because the pace of dentistry is quick. We don't have time to do different things for every procedure, patient, and material. Sometimes we look for efficiencies by doing it the same way," Dr Goodchild says, adding that the need for a standard operating system is essential when you add in the multiple doctors and assistants within a practice. "So, from a materials manufacturer and development standpoint, we try to work within that limitation. We try not to make it a behavior change."
The Benefits of Competitive Innovation
So, to capture your market share, manufacturers are improving materials to provide benefits you care about. Some improvements change what composite can do for patients.
John Flucke, DDS and Technology Editor for DPR, says developments in bioactive materials are one of the ways the growth in the materials market will benefit clinicians and patients. For example, Infinix™ from Nobio, a composite released in February 2022, has a built-in molecule that kills bacteria.
This feature answers the problem of secondary decay around the restorations' margins that sometimes cut the life of restorative work down to two to five years. Dr Flucke wants to keep an eye on Infinix, hopeful it will make a significant difference in dental practices and patient outcomes. With longevity on its side, Dr Flucke thinks it would be a material that people suffering from dental anxiety might appreciate.
"If you went to people who were scared of going to the dentist and said, 'Look, I know you're scared, and you don't want to do this. But would you be willing to do this once and then never have to do it again, potentially, or not have to do it again for 20 years?’ I think people would do that," Dr Flucke says.
Dr Flucke also likes RE-GEN™ from Vista APEX. RE-GEN is a line of bioactive materials, including a universal adhesive with bioactive glass, Bioglass, which should increase the bond strength while also allowing the body to develop crystalline structures under it, rebuilding tooth structure. Also, Dr Flucke appreciates the improvements to Ceramir (Doxa), the crown and bridge cement that is also bioactive, which can help mitigate dentinal sensitivity in the dentin layer that occurs with other adhesives.
"Some people, their teeth get really sensitive," Dr Flucke says. "The nice thing about a bioactive crown and bridge cement is that it builds crystalline structures over that dentin. It helps insulate."
So, How Can Dentists Get More of What They Want?
Manufacturers are listening to the Voice of the Customer more than in the past. Dr Goodchild experiences this as a clinician receiving the surveys and watching it happen at Premier, who are sending out many user surveys, too. The purpose of Premier’s surveys is to poll clinicians about what their pain points are so they can develop products that meet their needs.
Dr Goodchild thinks that clinicians can help manufacturers find these valuable innovations by giving manufacturers feedback. Whether it's a survey or an unsolicited email or call to the manufacturer, real insight from clinicians using the products will help manufacturers identify the subsequent most helpful development.
"Very few manufacturers have dentists or hygienists on staff. So, they get clinical input from the voice of customer research. That's invaluable to us," Dr Goodchild says. "If you don't like how your composite handles, call them or let them know or speak to your rep about what else is out there."