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The global clear aligners market size was USD 2.31 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 5.58 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 18.7% during the forecast period.
These aligners refer to the nearly invisible and advanced products which are utilized for the correction of mild to moderate orthodontics problems. They aid in teeth alignment with the aid of transparent aligners. The prevalence of malocclusion is surging at a significant rate. According to Align Technology Inc., a leading player in this market, about 60% - 75% of the global population suffers from malocclusion (misaligned teeth) every year. The growing demand for aesthetics and surge in the demand for these product offerings in orthodontic treatment are likely to fuel the global market during the forecast period. Strong technological upgradations, improvements in per capita spending, betterment of economic indicators, and increased penetration by key companies in the developing are contributing to the growth of the global market at a considerable rate. Furthermore, the growing competition for advanced product launches for scanning and 3D printing by key players is anticipated to boost the global market growth during the forecast period. For instance, in April 2018, Align Technology, Inc. launched Go Clear Aligners System, integrated with ITERO SCANNER. It is developed to provide greater flexibility in the treatment of many conditions including crowded or gap teeth and is expected to further augment the market growth during the forecast period.
Impact of COVID-19 on the Clear Aligners Market
The epidemic of coronavirus disease begun in 2019, also known as COVID-19, has become a major health challenge across the globe. A couple of months after it was first detected in China, the effects of the coronavirus outbreak are being felt across the globe. The suspension of elective procedure by all the countries due to COVID-19 has impacted the dental industry the most. Initially, in China & Italy, and now in most of the countries, the outbreak resulted in national lockdown and stay-at-home orders having major impact on elective procedures. For instance, elective surgeries have been hard-hit in China and Italy and have fallen by 85% to 90%. Moreover, similar impacts in the U.S. and the other European countries are also expected. Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to impact negatively on the growth of the market in 2020.
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Unmet Needs of Patient Population to Augment Market Growth
The prevalence of dental malocclusion and misalignment is increasing at a strong rate. However, issues with the accessibility of orthodontic services and significant costs of treatment have created a huge gap resulting in high unmet patient needs. The index of treatment need for dental malocclusion is also increasing which, for all classes of dental occlusion among teenagers, ranges from 25%-35% in various European countries, according to an article published in European Journal of Pediatric Dentistry. Many health reforms are being implemented to address the unmet needs of the patient population. Many companies and public institutions, such as the government agencies have undertaken initiatives to fill the gaps in orthodontic treatment through partnerships and policies. For instance, in April 2019, CVS Health collaborated with SmileDirectClub to expand the access to convenient and affordable aligner therapy to all. As a result of the collaboration, openings of SmileShops by SmileDirectClub are planned at various CVS Pharmacy locations, thereby expanding the company’s geographical presence and patient access. This is projected to further propel the clear aligners market growth during the forecast period.
Better Treatment Outcomes and Strong Competitive Activity to Fuel Demand
This global market is seeing significant levels of activities in the forms of acquisitions, partnerships, training of new doctors, technological developments. These are expected to further drive growth of the market. Over the past 3-4 years, major dental product companies have entered this lucrative market through acquisitions and new product introductions. For instance, Straumann acquired ClearCorrect LLC in 2017 whereas Dentsply Sirona acquired OraMetrix in 2018. Companies are focusing on developing new products and enhance the current product offerings through strong focus on R&D. There is a continuous effort to make the products more comfortable, hygienic, and to bring improvements in the 3-D modelling software to design these products based on the patient’s specific requirements. The market players are also increasing the awareness about the benefits of the product among orthodontics, dentists, and GPs through training. For instance, in 2018, according to a research article published by Progress in Orthodontics, around 45% of the general dentists providing orthodontic treatment provided the aligners versus only 19%, who provided brackets.
The other critical driver is the favorable treatment outcomes as these products offer numerous benefits over metal braces in the treatment of malocclusion. Some of the advantages include appearance, convenience, comfort, and the greater ability of customization. For instance, the introduction of clear aligners has been the biggest boost for the growth of the number of orthodontic procedures. For instance, in the United States., the number of patients straightening their teeth have increased from around 0.8 million (adults only) in 1994 to around 4 million (adults and teen) in 2018. Such factors are driving the market growth.
Considerably Under-Penetrated Market to Boost Adoption of Clear Aligners
According to estimates published by Align Technology, Inc. in 2018, an estimated 60% of the worldwide population suffers from the problems of malocclusion or misalignment of teeth and an estimated 300 million people could benefit from straightening their teeth. Factors such as very low awareness about the adverse effects of malocclusion and the general negligence towards dental care have resulted in a very low proportion of the population seeking treatment for straightening their teeth. Worldwide, an estimated 10-12 million people seek orthodontic treatment every year, but the penetration of these products is significantly low. These products are used in the treatment of only 15-17% of the orthodontic cases annually in North America. The products are utilized in the treatment of only 6-7% of the orthodontic cases annually outside North America. This under-penetration offers a significant opportunity for the expansion of the global market as the growing number of companies in this space are focusing on educating patients about the benefits of treating malocclusion and train more physicians (dentists, general physicians, orthodontists) to offer treatment and promote the adoption of these products.
Increased Competition from Direct-to-Consumer Companies to Limit Adoption
Despite the increasing adoption of these products globally, there are some strong restraining factors that are responsible for the limiting of this market growth. For instance, many this aligner companies that operate on a direct-to-consumer business model have come up in the past few years. In the direct-to-consumer model, patients are not necessitated to see the doctor. Dental impressions of the patients are either taken at home or the company stores and are reviewed by remote orthodontists and the products are sent to the patient by mail. This is expected to limit the market growth. For instance, the cost of direct-to-consumer products is considerably lower than the B2B model followed by the key market players. The cost of direct-to-consumer clear aligner can be in the range of USD 1,800-4,000 while the cost of treatment with these products from companies such as Align Technology can be in the USD 3,000-8,000 range. SmileDirectClub, a company operating in the space of direct-to-consumer business, generated USD 750.4 million in terms of revenues in 2019. It refers to a 77.3% increase from 2018. This is a prime example of the growing demand for direct-to-consumer products, which might adversely impact the market as the products will be sold through the B2B channel in the forecast period.
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Adults Segment Dominated the Global Market Owing to Higher Adoption of Novel Products
Based on patient age group, the global market can be segmented into teenager and adults. Out of the two, the adult segment held the dominating share in the global market in the 2019 due to the surge in the adoption of these technologically advanced products as a means of treatment and a rise in the prevalence of malocclusion in patients belonging to the adult age group. Also, the increasing aesthetic needs of adults is also a contributive reason for the segment’s dominance.
The teenager segment is anticipated to expand at a comparatively higher CAGR during the forecast period, with some of the critical factors being the increased adoption of technologically advanced products, rising aesthetic needs, and the invisible nature of these product offerings in comparison to the traditional braces and wires.
Higher Procedural Volume at Dental & Orthodontic Clinics to Enable Dominance of the Segment
On the basis of end user, the market can be segmented into hospitals and dental & orthodontic clinics. The dental & orthodontic clinics segment dominated the global market during the forecast period and is estimated to retain its position during the forecast period. This is primarily due to the high preference given to the orthodontics and the other dental practitioners owing to their strong skills and the rising number of training sessions undertaken at these institutions by prominent market players for the enhancement in awareness. The availability of highly skilled dentists would also contribute to the growth of this segment. Earlier, the usage of these products was conformed only to the orthodontists. But, with an increasing accessibility of these product offerings to the other medical practitioners such as general practitioners, the segment is likely to grow astonishingly. Also, several training programs are conducted with advanced tools by the companies for the integration of technologically advanced products in their practices. It is another critical factor responsible for the boosting of the growth of the orthodontics clinics segment during the forecast period.
North America Clear Aligners Market Size, 2019 (USD Billion)
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The market in North America was valued at USD 1.33 billion in 2019 and is anticipated to continue 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, increasing investments by reputed companies in the R&D of technologically advanced products, and strong adoption of technologically advanced products by individuals in the region. Furthermore, increased demand for clear aligners due to the aesthetic awareness and high costs of these products in the region are likely to surge the market growth in North America during the forecast period. Also, increased demand for these products from the orthodontics, surge in the clientele of general practitioners (GPs), favorable reimbursement policies for dentistry, and the presence of well-established clinics for orthodontics in the region are likely to drive the market growth in the region. Europe is estimated to be the second-most dominant region in terms of market share by 2027, due to the increased awareness regarding the technological upgradations in these products for the treatment of misaligned teeth and the rising adoption of these aligners by teenagers in the region. The market in Asia Pacific is estimated to grow at the highest CAGR, especially in the developing countries such as India and China. For instance, Align Technologies Inc., a prominent company in the global market, noted that the sales volume of their product offerings experienced an explosive growth in 2018. The company predicts that the aesthetical application offered by these products is likely to boost the demand in the adult segment, which is likely to result in China being the fastest growing market after the United States.
Strong Focus on Strategic International Expansion of Align Technology, Inc. to Help the Company to Lead
Align Technology, Inc. is the dominant market player in the global market and will continue to hold the lion’s share of the market during the forecast period. This growth is attributable to the strong and global presence of its key product portfolio of invisalign, which is the only this aligner used in the treatment of several complex dental cases, such adults and teenagers suffering from immature dentition. For instance, in 2018, Align Technology, Inc. announced collaboration with DENTALXP for the initiation of a global aligners fellowship program that would be able to provide the general practitioner dentists professional education on invisalign this aligners therapy. This, in turn, is anticipated to boost the adoption of these product offerings, contributing to the expansion of the market growth during the forecast period.
Other major players involved in the global market include 3M, Institut Straumann AG, 3Shape A/S, Danaher, DENTAURUM GmbH & Co. KG, Dentsply Sirona, Henry Schein, Inc., and other prominent players. These companies are anticipated to increase their market share in the forecast period.
The report provides a detailed market analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as the number of dentists – for key countries, number of orthodontists – for key countries, number of GPs/primary care physicians – for key countries, number of orthodontic procedures - for key countries, an overview of the technological advancements, prevalence of dental malocclusion: key countries, 2018, pricing analysis, an overview on reimbursement scenario – orthodontics treatment, overview of the reimbursement scenario, key industry developments - mergers, partnerships, & acquisitions, and brand analysis. Beside these, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over the recent years.
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Value (USD billion)
By Patient Age Group
By End User
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 2.31 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 5.58 billion by 2027.
In 2019, the market value stood at USD 2.31 billion.
Growing at a CAGR of 18.7%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).
Adults segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
Rapidly growing patient population with malocclusion, technological advancements, and the growing demand for customized aligners are the key factors driving the global market.
Align Technology, Inc. is the leading player in the global market.
North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2019.
Increasing launches of technologically advanced products and the high demand for theseclear aligners are driving the adoption of the products.
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