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3D printing made the dental market very valuable in 2017


A new SmarTech report found that dental printing grew by over 35 percent last year.

SmarTech Publishing, a provider of in-depth industry analysis services to the additive manufacturing and 3D printing industry, has just published its latest market research study titled, “3D Printing in Dentistry 2018, An Opportunity Analysis and Ten Year Forecast.”

In the report, the firm predicts that by 2027, the dental market will represent a $9.5 billion (USD) opportunity. 


Strong performance during the 2017 calendar year has been the result of widespread increases in acceptance and integration for 3D printing solutions within the global community of leading dental technology and solutions providers.

The total dental printing industry is anticipated to have grown by over 35 percent year-over-year for the second year in a row during 2017. 

SmarTech Publishing fully believes that by 2027, 3D printing technologies will become the leading production source for dental restorations and devices worldwide, overtaking digital subtractive milling and traditional analog fabrication processes.

About the report

Additive manufacturing and 3D printing technologies continue to benefit from the global dental industry push towards digital processes, and heading into 2018 it appears that a global tipping point has been reached, with printing poised to benefit the most over the coming decade when comparing available digital dentistry solutions like subtractive milling. Milling technologies still hold a majority share on the production volumes for permanent esthetic dental restorations made in materials such as ceramics or dental composites, but 3D printing is outpacing milling growth thanks to its abilities in areas which provide a high degree of value-add for both dental laboratory technicians, dentists, orthodontists and oral surgeons. 

Over the next 10 years, SmarTech Publishing anticipates that dental printing technologies which utilize both metal- and resin-based printing processes will revolutionize the dental industry through their ability to not only produce today’s wide range of high value dental devices, but also ultimately in the production of the full spectrum of accepted permanent dental restorations and prosthetics.

This new study, the third dedicated dental 3D printing market study published by SmarTech since 2013, has integrated an expanded market model scope providing detailed market forecast insights perfected over the past four years of interacting with the dental printing community. These latest revisions and updates provide unprecedented visibility and accuracy into market opportunity.


From the report

  • Today, in the laboratory setting, it is common for both additive and subtractive systems to coexist as part of a digital workflow strategy. Speaking generally, current subtractive CAD/CAM systems are highly aligned with the fabrication of restorations for esthetic dentistry using dental ceramics. Today, there is a well-rounded and inclusive market opportunity for the coexistence of both subtractive and additive digital systems. However, SmarTech Publishing believes that, ultimately, the ability for resin-based 3D printing technologies to be able to serve true permanent restorations is a realistic possibility and also a severe threat to milling technologies in the medium to long term.

  • There are several major technological developments currently underway which are propelling additive technologies to what SmarTech believes will result in a dominant position in the dental industry. These include increasing access to sub $5,000 desktop photopolymerization systems which are being combined with certified dental printing resins. SmarTech estimates that Formlabs, who can be credited with mainstreaming this solution, has increased its market share in the dental photopolymerization market more than 20-fold over the last two years.

  • Metal additive manufacturing will also play an important role in the future of dental printing, thanks to the increasing ability for companies to develop direct-metal dental implant solutions and the global growth in implant dentistry over the last several years. SmarTech estimates that by 2024 that outsourced additive manufacturing of metal dental implant systems will grow to exceed $1B in opportunity.

For more details on the report, click here.

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