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The U.S. clear aligners market size was USD 1.28 billion in 2020. The impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with clear aligners witnessing a negative demand impact amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the market exhibited a lower growth of 5.3% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The market is projected to grow from USD 1.52 billion in 2021 to USD 4.55 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 17.0% during the 2021-2028 period. The rise in CAGR is due to increased product demand and returning it to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
In recent times, there has been an increasing adoption of clear aligners as an orthodontic treatment option. This is because 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 key players in this market focus their attention on advertisements to generate consumer awareness.
The United States, which possesses a robust healthcare infrastructure, the inconspicuous nature of clear aligners is 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 in the forecast period.
Market to Witness a Negative Impact due to the Cancellation of Orthodontic Procedures amid COVID-19
The U.S. healthcare system has witnessed a mixed impact of the novel coronavirus. Some healthcare markets have registered robust growth trends, while other markets have witnessed a significant decline. The reason for the decline includes lockdown imposed across the various U.S. states in the initial days of the pandemic to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. These preventive steps have further led to a strong negative impact on dentist and orthodontic practice visits as they closed down due to the 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 these aligners due to the cancellation of orthodontic procedures in the initial months of the pandemic. Hence, the coronavirus pandemic exerted a limited negative impact on the market, and 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.
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Increased Adoption of Digital Tools in Clear Aligners to Surge Growth
Some emerging trends in the market growth 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 the tooth. For instance, Align Technology utilizes a mobile platform, the My Invisalign app that serves the dual purpose of helping patients coordinate care with their doctors and entice new customers.
Furthermore, in February 2020, Align Technology announced the ClinCheck In-Face Visualization Tool for its Invisalign Go System. The company’s proprietary 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 growth in 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 of the advantages include the invisible nature of these orthodontic devices, greater convenience and comfort, and a superior degree of customization. For instance, the usage of these aligners causes less irritation to the gums and cheeks and requires fewer visits to dentist and orthodontist clinics.
Individuals tend to prefer transparent aligners over conventional wire braces because of the superior comfort and greater degree of aesthetics. For instance, according to statistics published by the American Association of Orthodontics in 2019, an estimated 50.0%-75.0% of the American population could benefit from new-age orthodontics. Such driving factors are expected to further boost the adoption of such aligners in the forecast period.
Growing Demand for Dental Aesthetics to Drive U.S. Clear Aligners Market Growth
Another important factor that is expected to drive the growth of the market is the increasing and developing awareness amongst adults regarding dental aesthetics. 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 are expected to drive the market’s growth.
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 and has resulted in a high number of referrals of patients to orthodontists. The growing awareness about available orthodontic treatment options and increased need for improved dental appearance is 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 the 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 these products may also impact their adoption. Also, despite a significant proportion of the U.S. populace suffering from malocclusion, a considerable amount of these individuals are not aware of their dental disorders. 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 can be segmented into teenage and adult. The teenager segment is expected to register a comparatively higher CAGR in the forecast period. This is due to the increased demand for invisible orthodontics such as clear aligners by teenagers, coupled with flexible payment options, which is leading to rising adoption among teenagers.
The adult segment dominated the global market in 2020 and is projected to continue this dominance during the forecast period. The dominance is attributed to the higher adoption of invisible aligners by the adult age group. Certain reasons for the segment’s dominance also include the increasing need for aesthetics by adults and the greater adoption of clear aligners for their inconspicuous nature.
Dentist & Orthodontist-owned Practices Segment to Lead the Market from 2021 to 2028
The end-user segment can be segmented into dentist & orthodontist-owned practices and others.
The dentist & orthodontist-owned practices segment is projected to account for the highest 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.
This, along with the presence of a promising number of orthodontic clinic settings in the U.S. and the ease afforded to patients, is one of the key factors resulting in the segment’s dominance. Also, in terms of attending regular orthodontic appointments for a longer duration of time such as a couple of years, are some of the critical factors contributing to the growth of this segment.
The others segment is anticipated to account for a lower 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 for 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 2020. The company's apex position is attributable to the strong sales performances of its flagship aligner offering, the Invisalign system, coupled with greater emphasis on the adoption of digital tools by the company. This focus towards 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 June 2019, ClearCorrect entered an exclusive agreement with Progressive Orthodontic Seminars (POS), aiming to offer to continue clear aligner education for general practitioners. Such strategic moves are expected to further enable companies to strengthen their market presence. Furthermore, the upcoming direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies include Candid Care Co. and SmileDirectClub, Inc.
An Infographic Representation of U.S. Clear Aligners Market
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The U.S. clear aligners market report provides a detailed regional analysis of the market. It focuses on key aspects such as an overview of the technological advancements, the prevalence of dental malocclusion in the U.S., and pricing analysis. Additionally, it includes an overview of the reimbursement scenario for orthodontic treatments, the number of orthodontic procedures performed in the U.S. in 2020, the number of dentists and orthodontists in the U.S. in 2020, 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 over recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
By Age Group
Fortune Business Insights says that the market size was USD 1.28 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 4.55 billion by 2028.
In 2020, the market stood at USD 1.28 billion.
Registering a CAGR of 17.0%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).
The adults 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.
The growing demand for dental care such as effective orthodontics and new launches of advanced products, coupled with increased awareness, are expected to drive the adoption.
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