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The U.S. clear aligners market size was valued at USD 1.82 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 2.21 billion in 2022 to USD 6.23 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 16.0% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with clear aligners experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand in the U.S. compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the market exhibited a decline of -0.9% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
There has been an increasing adoption of clear aligners as an orthodontic treatment option in recent times. This is attributed to the fact that they give rise to improved patient outcomes due to robust research and development, which ensures high efficacy. Furthermore, their adoption is expected to record a strong growth as an increasing proportion of the American population is keen on improving their dental aesthetics. This is especially relevant as several players in this market focus their attention on strategies, including advertisements for the generation of consumer awareness.
The United States possesses a robust healthcare infrastructure and the inconspicuous nature of the product are expected to result in a greater degree of adoption from the adult age group. A stronger need for better oral health, in conjunction with an increased awareness of dental aesthetics, is expected to contribute to the market growth over the forecast period.
Market to Witness a Negative Impact due to Cancellation of Orthodontic Procedures
The U.S. healthcare system has witnessed a mixed impact due to the novel coronavirus. Some healthcare markets have registered robust growth trends while other markets have witnessed a significant decline. The reason for the market decline includes lockdown restrictions that were imposed across various states in the U.S. during the initial days of the pandemic to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. These preventive steps further led to a strong negative impact on the dentist and orthodontic practice visits as they closed down due to restrictions.
The pandemic had a negative impact to a limited extent on the market as the restrictions led to a reduced number of orthodontic procedures. Moreover, the market started experiencing strong trends of sales rebound during the later financial quarters of 2020. This was especially due to the strong pent-up demand for clear aligners after the cancellation of orthodontic procedures in the initial months of the pandemic. Hence, the coronavirus pandemic exerted a limited negative impact on the market. The negative impact was minimized by the greater adoption of digital tools such as Align Digital and Practice Transformation (ADAPT) service for Invisalign and iTero doctors.
Furthermore, the key players of the U.S. market in 2021 promoted dental research coupled with strategic executions to increase their customer reach and maintain their dominance in the market. 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 the treatment planning.
The digital treatment planning for orthodontics and restorative dentistry is continuously revolutionizing to provide doctors greater flexibility, consistency of treatment preferences, and real-time treatment plan access with modification capabilities. For instance, in February 2022, Align Technology, Inc. introduced Invisalign system innovations, which include ClinCheck Live Update for 3D control, the Invisalign Practice App, Invisalign Personalized Plan (IPP), and Invisalign Smile Architect. Such innovations will enhance planning quality, efficiency, and scale, which will drive the market growth over the forecast period.
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Increased Adoption of Digital Tools is Expected to Surge Market Growth
Emerging market growth trends are the strong adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) tools. The adoption of these digital technologies means that orthodontists can make informed decisions guided by AI and ML for routine procedures such as the extraction of teeth. For instance, Align Technology utilizes a mobile platform, the My Invisalign app, which serves the dual purpose of helping patients coordinate care with their doctors and entice new customers.
Furthermore, in October 2020, Align Technology, Inc. launched Invisalign G8 with a new smartforce aligner activation feature to optimize tooth movements and improve predictability for frequently treated crowding, crossbite, and deep bite cases. Also, the company’s proprietary Invisalign Go System software for tailored treatment planning offers 3D images of planned tooth movements’ to guide practitioners throughout the treatment. With this visualization tool, dentists and orthodontists can generate a comprehensive clinical visualization of their patient’s teeth. These emergent trends are expected to contribute strongly to the market growth over the forecast period.
Considerable Benefits of Clear Aligners over Traditional Orthodontics to Aid Growth
The most important driver for the market is the considerable benefits offered by clear aligners over traditional orthodontics. Some advantages include the invisible nature of these orthodontic devices, greater convenience and comfort, and a superior degree of customization. For instance, these products cause less irritation to the gums and cheeks and require fewer visits to dentist and orthodontist clinics.
Individuals prefer transparent aligners over conventional wire braces due to superior comfort and greater degree of aesthetics. For instance, according to statistics published by the American Association of Orthodontics in 2019, an estimated 50%-75% of American population could benefit from new-age orthodontics. Such driving factors are expected to further boost the adoption of such aligners over the forecast period.
Growing Demand for Orthodontic Treatment to Drive the U.S. Clear Aligners Market Growth
The increasing awareness amongst adults regarding dental aesthetics could drive the growth of the market. This is particularly relevant as factors such as rising awareness of better oral health, availability of convenient payment options, and greater efficiency of the treatment outcomes associated with aligners.
A steady rise in the proportion of adults looking for routine check-ups for their teeth has increased the awareness regarding the need for orthodontic treatments. It has resulted in a high number of referrals of patients to orthodontists. For instance, according to the statistics published by the Advantage Dental Oral Health Center in 2020, 95% of the Americans regard their oral health as a critical part of their well-being and overall health. The growing awareness about available orthodontic treatment options and the increased need for improved dental appearance are anticipated to boost the market growth.
High Treatment Costs and Lower Awareness of Malocclusion to Hamper Growth
One of the most critical growth restraining factors for the market is the concerns associated with the high treatment costs of clear aligners. Despite numerous advantages, such as their inconspicuous nature and their effectiveness in treating various forms of malocclusions, the high cost of the product may impact its adoption in the immediate future till they become more affordable.
Furthermore, the absence or lower reimbursement of the U.S. clear aligners may also impact their adoption. Also, despite a significant proportion of the U.S. populace suffering from malocclusion, many of these individuals are not aware of their dental disorders. For instance, as per a research paper published by the European Journal of Pediatric Dentistry in 2020, the worldwide prevalence of malocclusion amongst children and adolescents was 56%. Despite a strong prevalence of malocclusion amongst teenagers, the widespread adoption of this treatment was restricted in this age group. Hence, such factors are expected to hinder the growth of the market in the forthcoming years.
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Teenage Segment to Grow at a Comparatively Faster Pace Powered by Increasing Adoption
On the basis of age group, the market is segmented into teenage and adult. The teenage segment is expected to register a comparatively higher CAGR during the forecast period. This is due to the increasing demand for invisible orthodontics among teenagers, coupled with flexible payment options, leading to rising in its adoption. For instance, in April 2021, Align Technology, Inc. announced that over 10 million people initiated treatment with the Invisalign system, which included an estimated 2.6 million teenage patients.
The adult segment dominated the market share in 2021 and is projected to continue this dominance during the forecast period. The dominance is attributed to the higher adoption of these products by the adult age group. Certain reasons for the segment’s dominance also include adults' increasing need for aesthetics and the greater adoption of these products for their inconspicuous nature.
Strong Patient Volumes to Ensure Dentist & Orthodontist-owned Practices Segment’s Dominance in 2021
By end user, the market is segmented into dentist & orthodontist-owned practices and others.
The dentist & orthodontist-owned practices segment is projected to account for the largest share in the market during the forecast period. This segment's dominance is due to the high flow of patients suffering from critical malocclusion diseases in various dentist & orthodontist-owned practices across the U.S. Furthermore, the adequate availability of reimbursement services at these healthcare facilities is also expected to contribute to this segment’s dominance.
The presence of a promising number of orthodontic clinic settings in the U.S. and the ease afforded to patients are resulting in the segment’s dominance. For instance, according to the data from the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute, the number of orthodontists in the U.S. has increased from 10,885 in 2020 to 10,921 in 2021. Also, attending regular orthodontic appointments for a long-term duration is a critical factor contributing to the growth of this segment.
The others segment is anticipated to account for a lower U.S. clear aligners market share during the forecast period. Some of the reasons for the lower market share include the comparatively lower number of orthodontists operating in large hospital settings. Furthermore, the hindrances faced by patients in traveling long distances to large hospitals for regular orthodontic appointments for a prolonged duration of time are also expected to be a cause of the segment’s lower market share.
Brilliant Sales Performance of Align Technology & Growing Adoption of Digital Tools to Intensify Competition
In terms of the competitive landscape, the market depicts the presence of established and emerging orthodontic companies. Align Technology dominated the U.S. market in 2021. The company's apex position is attributable to the strong sales performances of its flagship aligners system offering, the Invisalign system, coupled with greater emphasis on the adoption of digital tools by the company. This focus on the greater adoption of digital tools has allowed the company to streamline clear aligner treatments, which has considerably improved its sales and volume shipments.
Some of the other companies with a considerable presence in the U.S. market include 3M, Institut Straumann AG, Dentsply Sirona, and Henry Schein. For instance, in July 2021, the Straumann Group acquired Smilink, one of the leading providers of orthodontic solutions in Brazil, to complement Straumann’s existing clear aligner business. Such strategic moves are expected to further enable companies to strengthen their market presence. Furthermore, the upcoming direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies in this market include Candid Care Co. and SmileDirectClub, Inc.
An Infographic Representation of U.S. Clear Aligners Market
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The research report provides a detailed analysis of the market. It focuses on key aspects such as an overview of technological advancements, the prevalence of dental malocclusion in the U.S., and pricing analysis. Additionally, the research report includes an overview of the reimbursement scenario for orthodontic treatments, the number of orthodontic procedures performed in the U.S. in 2021, the number of dentists and orthodontists in the U.S. in 2021, new product launches, key industry developments such as mergers, partnerships, & acquisitions, the impact of COVID-19 on the market, brand competition, and brand analysis. Besides this, the report also offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry dynamics. In addition to the aforementioned factors, it encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.
Value (USD billion)
By Age Group
By End User
Fortune Business Insights says that the market size was USD 1.82 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 6.23 billion by 2029.
In 2021, the market stood at USD 1.82 billion.
Registering a CAGR of 16.0%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period.
The adult segment is expected to lead this market during the forecast period.
The increasing demand for orthodontic treatments, technological advancements, and the high prevalence of dental malocclusion are major factors driving the growth of the market.
Align Technology, Inc. is the major player in this market.
Increased demand for dental care, which includes effective medical devices, such as orthodontics and new launches of advanced products, and increased awareness are expected to drive the product adoption.
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