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Invisible orthodontics market: North American market remains solid, Chinese market grows rapidly

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The Chinese invisible orthodontics market became the one of the largest markets in the world. (Image: Prismlab)

Tue. 31 May 2022

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The global invisible orthodontics market size was valued at US$2.9 billion (€2.7 billion) in 2020. It is expected to reach US$11.6 billion in 2027, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13% from 2021 to 2027. North America is expected to keep dominating the invisible orthodontics market, and substantial growth is predicted for some developing countries, such as China.

Increasing demand for invisible orthodontics is one of the major trends in dentistry worldwide. Owing to its convenience and flexibility, it is considered a favourable treatment option for patients of all ages compared with conventional orthodontic treatment with fixed metal appliances. Clear aligners, for example, are more comfortable to wear and more aesthetically appealing. Overall, invisible orthodontics has been one of most revolutionary advancements in the industry in the past decades.

Regional insights

North America dominated the market with a share of more than 55.0% in 2021, making it the largest market for invisible orthodontics at present. It is expected to reach US$840 million at a CAGR of more than 12.2% by 2024. A survey conducted by the American Dental Association reported that 85% of individuals in the US value dental health and consider it an essential aspect of overall well-being. The advent of clear aligners has attracted the attention of many patients wanting to improve their smiles, but who would prefer something more aesthetic than fixed metal appliances. Rising awareness of dental hygiene and convenience of orthodontic treatment options are driving the invisible orthodontics market in North America.

The Chinese invisible orthodontics market became the second largest market in the world in 2019 owing to the increasing demand for aesthetic dental treatments with clear aligners in developing economies. The market size increased from US$90 million in 2015 to US$300 million in 2020 and is expected to reach US$10 billion in 2030 at a CAGR of 390%.

Invisible orthodontics market—Growth rate by region. (Image: Modor Intelligence)

Key companies and market share insights

The global market has been characterised by intense competition. One of the key factors driving competitiveness among market players is the rapid adoption of advanced digital technology such as intra-oral scanners, 3D printers and CAD software. At the same time, these players are rapidly opting for strategic expansion and collaboration in order to expand their geographical presence and sales volume.

In 1998, Align Technology’s Invisalign clear aligner system was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and became the pioneer of invisible correction technology. In 2001, Align’s successful initial public offering ushered in rapid development. By 2011, Invisalign had become the most important system in the global invisible orthodontics market.

In August 2017, Straumann officially entered the field of digital orthodontics. The company wholly acquired ClearCorrect, the world’s second largest invisible orthodontics brand, invested in a 38% stake in Spanish invisible orthodontics brand Geniova Technologies and increased its stake in dental digital solutions provider Dental Wings to full ownership.

In the early 2000s, invisible orthodontics technology was introduced into China. After 20 years of development, the invisible orthodontics market in China includes Angelalign Technology, Align Technology and Shanghai Smartee Dental Technology. According to data from China Insights Consultancy, Angelalign and Align occupied 41.0% and 41.4%, respectively, of the market share in China in 2021, having obvious advantages over other brands.

In Wuxi in the Jiangsu province in China, Angelalign has built the largest dental 3D-printing base in the country and deployed fourth-generation 3D printers which are among the most advanced in dental applications, according to a China Insights Consultancy report. With custom built-in parameters, Angelalign’s 3D printer can meet the needs of mass production, and the production speed is 25%–50% faster than the industry average. Compared with Invisalign, Angelalign has a price advantage. The completion of the Wuxi base will continue to increase its production capacity and is expected to further expand its market share.

Angelalign supplier Prismlab was founded in 2005 in Shanghai in China. Specialising in the research and development, manufacture, sales and service of 3D printers, the company is a high-tech enterprise that provides a complete set of invisible orthodontics solutions. Its sales volume has been growing steadily during the COVID-19 pandemic, attracting investment by global industrial giant BASF.

Summary

North America and China are the top two invisible orthodontics markets in the world. While advancements in and rapid adoption of dental technologies, including 3D printing, drive market growth in North America, China is still developing and has a huge population. Both have amazing market potential. The Chinese market is expected to surpass that of European and American countries in the near future. However, its medical resources are lacking compared with North America.

Overall, income level and awareness of oral hygiene and the acceptance of invisible orthodontics among Chinese people have gradually increased over the past decades. In addition, the pursuit of beauty and the development of digital invisible orthodontics are expected to boost the penetration rate of invisible orthodontics and to further intensify market competition in the future.

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