The dental technology market is growing at an incredible rate. Dental lasers, one rapidly growing market, has been forecast for a huge 10.71% compound growth rate over the next four years. The variety and availability of new and exciting products is ever increasing, as is the conundrum for dental practices on which to make use of.
However, despite the proliferation of new and exciting technologies, there is a question of how to improve today’s practices and processes.
What Is Dental Innovation Doing Now?
It is estimated that between 9 and 15% of Americans suffer from some sort of anxiety in visiting the dentist. X-rays are regularly used in dentistry for diagnosis and investigatory purposes and often contribute to this sense of anxiety, with worries over perceived radiation levels and long-term health effects.
Dental technology has paved the way for allaying these fears. Digital x-ray technology, despite being available for over 25 years, is not yet universally practiced, despite offering a 75% reduction in radioactive exposure against older methods.
Developments in microtechnology have allowed dental technology to break into the children’s market. The market of child coverage has increased considerably in recent years, with the American Dental Association remarking on a 50% reduction in the level of children without cover, demonstrating the eagerness for parents to cover their children’s dental care needs.
Those parents previously worried about the impacts of frequent X-ray scans on their children’s brain, which have been shown to be potentially more damaging given the greater receptivity of a child’s brain to radiation, have found new opportunities offered by the downsizing of instruments to allow for the precise use of digital x-ray photography.
It is estimated that over 35 million Americans are entirely toothless and 120 million are missing at least one tooth (Edentulism). 90% of those people use dentures, creating a huge market for dentists and orthodontists nationally. A further 15% have dentures made each year, creating huge demand.
3D printing and CAD/CAM, the associated software, have revolutionized the market. Fittings can be made faster using bulk production, and the fit is often much more specific.
The future of dental technology is certainly bright. Industrial engineering applications have successfully been adapted to provide excellent patient care and demonstrable market growth, all whilst still being mindful and paying attention to the concerns of today.