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The U.S. orthodontics market size was valued at USD 3.23 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 3.76 billion in 2022 to USD 9.60 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 14.3% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across the U.S. compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the U.S. market exhibited a rise of 26.4% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that involves employing special tools such as braces and clear aligners to correct dental conditions such as misaligned teeth. It also deals with treating and managing the various classes of malocclusions. While in the initial days of treatment it was more centered on the age group of teenagers, in recent years, however, the development of invisible devices such as clear aligners and lingual braces and the increasing demand for aesthetic dentistry has led to an increasing number of adults opting for such product types.
These trends have been further aided by technological advancements leading to better treatment outcomes and the availability of flexible payment plans for such treatments. This has led to several prominent dental companies in R&D initiatives, despite some negative factors such as lack of awareness about dental diseases and high cost of orthodontic treatment, enabling the U.S. orthodontics market growth during the forecast period.
Decline in Demand for Non-Essential Treatments to Cause Slowed Market Growth amid COVID-19
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on certain markets in the medical devices industry is expected to be negative due to the sharp decline in non-essential medical visits as per government norms and regulations across several countries. This is especially significant for the U.S. market as several non-essential and non-critical medical procedures, including orthodontic procedures, have been postponed in light of the pandemic. Furthermore, as these treatments are considered non-essential, a significant number of clinics and practices have closed down during the lockdown periods in the U.S. In a statement issued in April 2020, the American Dental Association (ADA) called on dentists in the U.S. to postpone non-urgent dental procedures till April 30th, aiming to help restrict the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
However, as dentist and orthodontist offices in the U.S. began re-opening, the U.S. orthodontics market witnessed the trend of a strong sales rebound. This strong momentum of sales rebound was attributable to the robust ongoing adoption of digital tools that enable the greater adoption of clear aligners systems in the pandemic. For instance, Align Technology has introduced a slew of digital orthodontic initiatives, such as expanding their digital platform with cloud-based ClinCheck Pro 6.0 and ClinCheck In-Face Visualization tool for Invisalign treatment.
Amid COVID-19 pandemic, the market grew during 2020 and observed slow growth rate in 2021.
Increasing Usage of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to Boost Market
The increasing adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for dental procedures is one of the emerging market trends. AI has undergone tremendous advancements since its inception and has a wide range of problem-solving abilities, which can be applied in dentistry. For instance, in September 2020, medical technology company 3D Predict, which utilizes proprietary artificial intelligence software to create 3D models to design clear aligners, was launched in the U.S. Such market developments are anticipated to further increase the adoption in the U.S.
One of the critical means by which orthodontics can be aided by artificial intelligence is that AI enables orthodontists to make informed decisions regarding the important aspects of treatment planning, such as teeth extraction. Such technological advancements due to AI and ML are expected to enable healthcare professionals to work with greater efficiency and deliver superior outcomes. Furthermore, Align Technology’s mobile app, MyInvisalign Mobile App, also uses machine learning technology to simulate the clear aligner wearers' smiles after using these orthodontic products. This is greatly expected to fuel the demand for these products as the greater accuracy during the initial treatment planning stages can minimize treatment costs for the patients by eliminating added costs in the later stages of the treatment, which can lead to delays.
Rising Number of Adults Seeking Treatment in U.S. to Fuel Market
One of the strong driving factors dominating this market is the substantial increase in adults opting for orthodontic treatment in the U.S. This rise in adoption of braces, aligners and other products in the adult population in the U.S. is driven by the increased demand for dental aesthetics and the greater availability of clear aligners.
Furthermore, there has been a growth in the proportion of adults seeking routine dental care, increasing awareness about the need for these treatments, and increasing referrals of adult patients to orthodontists. For instance, the average adult patient count per member of the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) increased from 166 in 2016 to 178 in 2018. Such statistics indicate a strong demand in the U.S. and are anticipated to lead to market growth in the forecast period.
Lastly, flexibility in payment options for these treatments in the U.S. is also expected to lead to greater adoption of dental care solutions.
Increasing Adoption of Clear Aligners and Other Similar Products to Drive Growth
One of the other critical driving factors for the market in the U.S. includes the strong adoption of invisible products such as clear aligners, ceramic braces, and lingual braces. This has resulted in a steadily expanding patient population in the country opting for treatment of malocclusion, as these invisible devices offer greater inconspicuousness than traditional metal braces.
For example, the clear aligners market is seeing significant levels of activity in the form of acquisitions, partnerships, training of new doctors, technological developments, etc., which is expected to further drive the market's growth. Enabled by the rising R&D investments by some major companies in the development of advanced invisible clear aligners, the market is expected to rise considerably in the forthcoming years.
Low Awareness of Effects of Malocclusion & High Costs of Treatment to Restrain Market Growth
One of the restraining factors impacting the adoption of braces, aligners, and other products in the U.S. is the general lack of awareness of malocclusion and its adverse impact on oral health. For instance, according to an estimate published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), around 60-65% of the U.S. population has some degree of malocclusion. Still, a large proportion of the population is not aware of the effects of this condition.
Furthermore, the high costs associated with these treatments and associated factors such as the lack of better reimbursement for certain braces have further restricted the market’s growth. For instance, the average estimated base costs of metal braces are between the price ranges of USD 3,000 and USD 6,000, while ceramic braces cost between USD 4,000 and USD 8,000, and the lingual ones cost between USD 8,000 and USD 10,000. Factors such as these are expected to impact the widespread adoption of these devices in the U.S. and are anticipated to constrain market growth in the forecast period.
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Clear Aligners to Grow at a Fast Pace in the U.S. Market due to Varied Advantages Over Metal Braces
Based on type, the market is bifurcated braces and clear aligners. Braces are further sub-segmented into traditional metal, ceramic, and lingual braces. Furthermore, clear aligners are bifurcated into traditional and direct to consumer.
In 2021, the clear aligners segment held a major share. This is due to its various advantages, including greater ease of usage, more durable than options such as ceramic braces. For instance, in January 2020, Bellevue Orthodontics, an orthodontic clinic based in Seattle, U.S. announced the launch of the Same-Day Clear Aligners with 3D printing.
The braces segment is expected to grow at a substantial CAGR. The slow growth of the braces segment is due to the advent of clear aligners and the various advantages associated with the clear aligners over the braces, such as appearance, hygiene, and easy to wear.
Adult Segment Dominated Market in 2021 owing to Increasing Awareness of Dental Malocclusion
Based on age group, the market is divided into adult and teenager. The adult segment primarily dominates the market as higher treatment costs are incurred in the treatment of adult patients. This is attributed to increasing awareness of dental malocclusion amongst adults and the increasing demand for aesthetic needs in adult orthodontic patients.
The teenager segment accounted for a lower share of the U.S. market but is anticipated to register a comparatively higher CAGR as an increasing number of teenagers opt for treatment due to flexibility of payment options.
Clinics to Register Higher CAGR Due to Presence of Large Number of Medical Practitioner in U.S.
Based on end-user, the market is categorized into dental/orthodontic clinics, direct to consumer, and others. The dental/orthodontic clinics segment is expected to have the largest share in the market between 2022 and 2029. This dominance is primarily attributed to numerous medical practices offering dental restoration services, including braces and aligners in the U.S., which are clinic owned and operated by private orthodontists.
The direct-to-consumer segment is expected to grow at a significant CAGR during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to various advantages of the direct-to-consumer segment, such as the remote checkup and low cost of these aligners.
Strong Product Portfolio of Leading Players to Aid Their Market Dominance
The U.S. market depicts a monopolistic market structure with market players of several sizes, varying from large, multinational corporations to small, U.S.-based players. In the present scenario, Align Technology, Inc., 3M, and Henry Schein, Inc. are leading the U.S. market, accounting for a dominant revenue share. This is primarily due to a robust portfolio of these companies in the U.S. such as Align’s Invisalign. Align Technology experienced growth of 59.9%in 2021 from USD billion in 2020 due to increased sales of clear aligners.
At the same time, other key players in the region, such as American Orthodontics and DB Orthodontics, are increasing their share in the U.S. market by focusing on expanding their presence in the country. These companies achieve sustainable growth due to technological advancements. Other prominent players in the market include Dentsply Sirona and ENVISTA HOLDINGS CORPORATION (Ormco Corporation). These players are engaging in new product launches to increase their revenue share during the forecast period.
An Infographic Representation of U.S. Orthodontics Market
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The U.S. orthodontics market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as the number of dentists and orthodontists in the U.S., the number of procedures in the U.S., key industry developments, the impact of COVID-19 on the market, the prevalence of dental malocclusion in the U.S. (2021), pricing analysis, reimbursement scenario, brand analysis, technological developments in dental braces, and key industry developments (mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships). Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry dynamics. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the U.S. market in recent years.
Value (USD billion)
By Age Group
Fortune Business Insights says that the market size was USD 3.23 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 9.60 billion by 2029.
In 2021, the market value stood at USD 3.23 billion.
Growing at a CAGR of 14.3%, the market will exhibit steady growth over the forecast period (2022-2029).
The clear aligners segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
Technological advancements, increased demand for dental aesthetics, and an expanding patient population pool are major factors driving the market growth.
Align Technology, Inc., 3M, and Henry Schein, Inc. are the major players in the U.S. market.
The development of advanced braces and new product launches are expected to drive the adoption in the U.S. market.
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