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The global clear aligners market size was valued at USD 3.45 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 4.09 billion in 2022 to USD 16.11 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 21.6% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with clear aligners experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market had exhibited a slower growth of 1.9% in 2020 compared to 2019.
Clear aligners refer to the nearly invisible products utilized to correct mild to moderate orthodontic problems. The prevalence of malocclusion is surging significantly, and these products aid in teeth alignment, thereby fostering its demand. According to Align Technology Inc.’s 2021 report, internationally, the doctor’s utilization rate of Invisalign increased to 17.5 cases per doctor in 2021 as compared to 14.5 cases per doctor in 2020.
The other factors include significant technological advancement in clear aligners, improvement in per capita health spending, and improving economic indicators. Moreover, the increasing penetration of key companies to cater to the growing demand for aesthetics in developing regions is supporting the market's growth. For instance, as per an article published in BMC Oral Health in 2020, the dental expenditure per capita of Chinese adults was USD 20.54, and more than 90% of the expenditure was out-of-pocket. Rising adult population and dental expenditure will enhance the adoption of these products, thereby driving market growth across the region.
Developed countries are seeing huge growth in adult patients seeking orthodontic treatment. These individuals tend to prefer these products over conventional wire braces due to superior comfort and greater degree of aesthetics these products offer.
Furthermore, the growing competition amongst key players for advanced product launches such as scanners and 3D printing is anticipated to boost the market growth during the forecast period. For instance, in December 2021, Henry Schein, Inc. launched a new web-based treatment planning software Studio Pro 4.0, for Reveal Clear Aligners to achieve predictable outcomes for clear aligner treatment planning.
Decline in the Number of Orthodontic Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic Negatively Impacted the Market Growth
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a limited impact on the global market as the lockdowns imposed across the globe limited the visits to dentists and orthodontists. At the same instance, the global market started experiencing strong trends of sales rebound in the later financial quarters of 2020. The suspension of elective procedures, including orthodontics procedures in several key countries, and the closure of dental practices due to the lockdown restrictions have impacted the dental industry significantly.
In 2021, as the dentists and orthodontist’s offices in various countries have begun re-opening, the global market has witnessed the trend of a strong sales rebound. This strong momentum of sales rebound is attributable to the gradual spike in patient volume.
Other factors that have assisted in maintaining the demand for clear aligners are the launches of digital tools and teledentistry, assisting physicians to continue providing orthodontic care during the pandemic. In addition, the ‘zoom effect’ with people getting conscious about their misaligned teeth due to the frequent video calls, and adults have taken up the treatment more confidently with their teeth hidden behind masks. Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to exert a limited impact on the market's growth and will grow steadily to restore its pre-pandemic growth due to the uplifting of pandemic restrictions and resuming non-critical care.
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Unmet Needs of Patient Population to Augment Market Growth
The prevalence of dental malocclusion and misalignment is increasing at a significant rate. However, issues with the accessibility of orthodontic services and significant treatment costs have created a huge gap resulting in high unmet patient needs. The index of treatment needed for dental malocclusion is increasing, which for all classes of dental occlusion among teenagers, ranges from 25%-35% in various European countries, according to an article published by the European Journal of Pediatric Dentistry in 2020.
Many health reforms are being implemented to address the unmet needs of the patient population. Many companies and public institutions, such as government agencies, have undertaken initiatives to fill the gaps in orthodontic treatment through partnerships and policies. For instance, in May 2022, the Canadian government introduced a new national dental care program for low-income Canadians that will cover the dental care fees of 6.5 million Canadian families making less than USD 90,000.0 annually. Such government initiatives will support dental care expenditure leading to a spike in the adoption of dental products, including clean aligners. These factors may propel the global clear aligners market growth during the forecast period.
Treatment Benefits Over Traditional Methods to Fuel Market Growth
On a global level, the demand for these products over traditional braces has fueled due to the favorable treatment outcomes it offers in treating malocclusion. Some of the advantages of these products include appearance, convenience, comfort, and greater ability to customize. In addition, companies focus on the development of new products and the enhancement of current product offerings through a strong focus on R&D initiatives.
Market players also increase the awareness regarding these products' benefits amongst orthodontics, dentists, and General Practitioners (GPs) through training.
Increased Demand for Dental Aesthetics to Boost Market Growth
In 2021, Align Technology, Inc. published data that reported that malocclusion is one of the most prevalent dental conditions affecting an estimated 60%-75% of the worldwide population, and around 500 million people could benefit from straightening their teeth. Factors such as low awareness about the adverse effects of malocclusion and general negligence of the patient population toward dental care offer a lucrative opportunity for growth.
Moreover, increasing beauty standards in terms of oral health is raising the demand for advanced orthodontics as many studies show that the young or teenage population, especially the female group, is a key contributor to market growth. This factor is attributable to the increasing focus on the enhancement of appearance by the female population.
Increased Competition from Direct-to-Consumer Companies to Hinder Market Growth
Despite the increasing adoption of these products globally, some strong limiting factors are responsible for restraining the market growth. For instance, many clear aligner companies that operate on a direct-to-consumer (DTC) business model have been established in the current scenario. In the direct-to-consumer model, patients are not necessitated to see the doctor. Dental impressions of the patients are both taken at home or the company stores and reviewed by remote orthodontists, and the products are sent to the patient by mail. This is expected to limit the market growth strongly.
This difference in the price will influence the demand for direct-to-consumer products as they are available at lower prices leading to a higher adoption rate. Thus, this is negatively impacting the sales of products sold through the B2B channel during the forecast period.
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Adult Segment to Lead Owing to Rising Demand for Dental Aesthetics
Based on age group, the market is segmented into teenage and adults.
Out of the two, the adults segment held the dominant share of the global clear aligners market share in 2021 due to rising adoption of technologically advanced products for malocclusion treatment. Moreover, an increased malocclusion prevalence in patients in the adult age group is expected to favor segmental growth. The increasing dental aesthetic needs of the adult demographic are also contributing to the segment’s dominance.
The teenage segment is anticipated to expand at a comparatively higher CAGR during the forecast period. Companies in this space focus on educating patients, especially teenagers, about the benefits of treating malocclusion. Furthermore, they are also offering training to physicians such as dentists, general physicians, and orthodontists to offer treatment and promote the adoption of these products among the teenage population.
Dentist & Orthodontist Owned Practices Segment to Dominate Backed by Higher Procedural Volume
On the basis of end-user, the market is segmented into dentist & orthodontist-owned practices and others.
The dentist & orthodontist-owned practices segment dominated the global market during the forecast period. This factor is primarily due to the high preference for orthodontists and other trained dental practitioners owing to their strong skills. Furthermore, the rising number of training sessions undertaken in these settings by prominent companies to enhance awareness of their products is expected to lead to this segment’s dominance. The availability of highly skilled dentists would also contribute to the growth of this segment.
The others segment includes large hospital settings, which are anticipated to account for a lower market share in the forecast period. The segment holds a lower share due to the growing preference of the patient population toward private clinics, including dentist & orthodontist-owned practices due to their timely, comfortable, and easily accessible dental care.
North America Clear Aligners Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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On the basis of region, the global market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the rest of the world.
The market in North America stood at USD 2.00 billion in 2021 and is anticipated to dominate the global market during the forecast period. Some of the critical factors contributing to the region’s dominance include the presence of major companies in the region, such as Align Technology, and the increasing R&D investments by these key players. Other contributing factors include increased demand for these products from orthodontists, the surge in the clientele of GPs, favorable reimbursement policies for dentistry, and the presence of well-established clinics for orthodontics. For instance, as per the Align Technology 2021 annual report, the utilization rate of Invisalign in North American orthodontics increased in 2021 to 98.1 cases per doctor, compared to 67.3 patients per doctor in 2020.
Europe is estimated to hold a significant market share in 2021 due to the increased awareness regarding technological sophistication of these products for treating misaligned teeth and the growing number of companies expanding their facilities to manufacture and meet the rising demand for these products by teenagers in the region.
Asia Pacific is estimated to grow at the highest CAGR, especially in developing countries such as India and China. Major companies are focusing on establishing their presence in hospitals and orthodontic dental clinics across the untapped Asian market as it offers a huge patient population. Furthermore, growing disposable income in countries such as India and Japan further contributes to the region’s strong growth rate.
The rest of the world is expected to account for a limited market revenue share in 2021 due to lack of oral health interventions, including dental treatment, in key Middle Eastern countries, including Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria. This lack of awareness regarding oral health limits the greater adoption of these products in the region. However, the rest of the world, which includes Latin American countries, such as Brazil, is expected to witness growth prospects in the forecast period.
Align Technology’s Stellar Sales Performance to Lead to Market Dominance
In respect to the global competitive landscape, the scenario reflects a consolidated market with the dominance of a single company, Align Technology, Inc. The company's dominance is attributable to the strong and sustained demand for its key Invisalign aligners system product portfolio. It is the only clear aligner used to treat several complex dental cases such as adults and teenagers suffering from immature dentition.
Ormco Corporation is the second largest player in the global market due to strong sales performance of its product, Spark Clear Aligner. The company’s strong focus on upgrading the existing product portfolio and new product launches to expand its offering has been boosting its dominance in this market.
Other market players with a significant presence in the global market include Institut Straumann AG, 3Shape A/S, Dentsply Sirona, and Henry Schein, Inc. and are anticipated to increase their market share during the forecast period due to critical strategic executions, including new product launches.
An Infographic Representation of Clear Aligners Market
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The research report provides qualitative and quantitative insights on the market and a detailed analysis of the global market size & growth rate for all possible segments in the market. The report also provides an elaborative analysis of the global market dynamics and competitive landscape. Various key insights presented in the report are the overview of technological advancements, the prevalence of malocclusion, key countries, pricing analysis, overview of reimbursement scenario – orthodontic treatment, overview of reimbursement scenario, key recent industry developments – mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships, new product launches, brand analysis, and the impact of COVID-19 on the global market.
Value (USD billion)
By Age Group, End-user, and Region
By Age Group
Fortune Business Insights says that the market size was USD 3.45 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 16.11 billion by 2029.
In 2021, the North America market size stood at USD 2.00 billion.
Growing at a CAGR of 21.6%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2022-2029).
The adults segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
The benefits of these products over traditional metal braces, the launch of technologically advanced products, and the increasing focus on developing advanced dental aesthetics are major factors driving the market growth.
Align Technology, Inc., Institut Straumann AG, and Ormco Corporation are some of the major players in the global market.
North America dominated the market in 2021.
The increasing demand for orthodontic treatment, growing adoption of these products across all age groups, and a considerably under-penetrated market are expected to drive the adoption of the products.
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