Oral diseases, while largely preventable, are one of the major health burdens globally and affect about 3.5 billion people. Dental caries or cavities (commonly known as tooth decay) and gum (periodontal) disease are the most common conditions that severely affect oral health and account for the most considerable part of the oral disease burden. High sugar consumption and snacks, tobacco use, alcohol usage, and eating certain harmful foods and drinks are major risk factors that lead to the development of oral diseases. The growing urbanization, poor hygiene, changing lifestyles, and poor access to oral health care services also impact oral health conditions.
As per the data presented by WHO (in 2019), about 2 billion people suffer from caries of permanent teeth, and 520 million children suffer from caries of primary teeth. Additionally, more than 40% of adults reported having felt pain in their mouth in 2018, and more than 80% of people will have had at least one cavity by age 34. Untreated decay in the permanent teeth leads to several other illnesses and complications that may affect people throughout their lifetime, causing long-term pain and discomfort. Moreover, it can lead to facial disfigurement and, in some cases, can lead to death. Treatment and oral health management are expensive and lengthy and usually not part of universal health coverage, which is a key factor for the rising burden. Overall, it has a higher impact on the psychological development and quality of life of the affected person and their families.
To provide better diagnosis and treatment options in the dental care market. Globally, several key companies are actively working on developing a new solution for better diagnosis and treatment of oral health conditions. Teledentistry, 3D & Digital Dental X-Rays, Augmented Reality (AR), and Virtual Reality (VR) in Dental Care are some of the leading technologies making inroads in the dental care market. The emerging technological advancements are leading to quicker, easier, less painful, and more reliable oral health management. Due to these advancements, the dental industry is growing rapidly and looking much different than it did in past years.
Emerging Trends and Innovations in the Dental Care Market
Globally, several HealthTech and MedTech companies are actively working in the dental industry, and with each passing day, the segment is witnessing new and innovative solutions intended to provide greater comfort, affordability, and ease in treatment and care. We have analyzed some of the leading trends and innovations in the dental care market, which are as follows –
Teledentistry is an evolving topic in the dental care industry. It is part of Telehealth, however, limited to dental care only. Teledentistry deals with the usage of electronic information, imaging, and communication technologies to provide and support dental care delivery, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, transfer of dental information, and education. Teledentistry uses interactive audio, video, and data communications, as well as store and forward technologies methodologies to support and address different dental health problems. Teledentistry demand has experienced immense growth due to the covid-19 pandemic. Globally, several teledentistry solutions and applications are available in the market that allows dental patients to connect with licensed dentists. The patient can connect with the dentists and convey his dental concerns, irrespective of his location, through phone, computer, or any other mode of communication. Teledentistry has several benefits, as it can be more affordable, easier, and can be faster than an in-office appointment. Similarly, it can minimize waiting room time and can save valuable time for both the patient and the dentist.
Smart Toothbrushes are rechargeable electric toothbrushes (also called “power” toothbrushes). Smart Toothbrushes keep the teeth, gums, and tongue cleaner and provide the best and easiest way to take care of oral health and teeth. Smart Toothbrushes are popular among people across all age groups and do all the work for the user like a manual toothbrush does; however, ensure superior and better plaque removal activity and reduce gingivitis more than manual ones. Most of the new electric toothbrush comes with heads that rotate in both directions, or ‘oscillating’ heads, and helps in maintaining better oral health. Smart Toothbrushes are portable in nature and do not require any wire or cable to be attached. They are equipped with a battery that can work for up to 20 hours.
In recent times, the demand for Smart Toothbrushes has increased significantly. Today, several types of Smart Toothbrushes are available in the market, with different types and features available to suit different needs. Some studies have claimed that electric toothbrushes clean teeth and gums much better than manual toothbrushes and help maintain healthier gums and ensure less tooth decay.
Globally, some of the key companies are active in the Smart Toothbrushes market. The leading players include FOREO Company, Wellness Oral Care Company, Fairywill Company, Lion Corporation, Conair Corporation (Interplak), SEASTAR Corporation, BrushBaby, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Procter & Gamble, Philips, Panasonic Corporation, Church & Dwight Co., Inc., JSB Healthcare, Koninklijke Philips N.V., Omron Healthcare, Inc., Smilex Company, Kolibree Company, Rotadent Company, Shenzhen Risun Technology Co., Ltd., Ningbo Seago Electric Co, Ltd., Dretec Co., Ltd., Brush Buddies Company, SONIC Chic Company, IBP Healthcare, White, DSONIC Chic, Water Pik, and others. As per DelveInsight, owing to the rise in the disposal income, resign awareness towards oral health, and the technological advancement in smart toothbrushes will immensely contribute to the growth of the Smart Toothbrushes market in the coming years.
3D & Digital Dental X-Rays
Over the past two-three decades, several exciting developments have been registered in dental diagnostic technology. Dental X-rays (radiographs) are one of the major dental diagnostic applications. Dental X-rays (radiographs) generate images of the teeth and assist the dentist in evaluating and visualizing the probable anomalies in the oral health of the patient. Dental X-Rays use low levels of radiation to capture images of the interior of the teeth and gums and play a key role in assessing the condition of the teeth, roots, jaw placement, and facial bone composition. Furthermore, the Digital Dental X-Rays are key in assisting in diagnosing diseases related to the oddities in the patient’s behavior. As per the assessment of oral health, the dentist creates an elaborate treatment plan for the patient. Earlier, 2D X-rays, which consist of simple intraoral to extraoral full mouth x-rays, were used to examine and capture images of the mouth, including the teeth, upper and lower jaws, and surrounding structures and tissues. In recent times significant advances have been registered in three-dimensional (3D) x-ray imaging. 3D X-ray is often referred to as a cone beam and uses computed tomography equipment to get a better understanding of the entire mouth by designing a 3D rendition of the oral cavity. It provides in-depth details of the mouth in slices, similar to a CT scan. Digital Dental X-Rays have a major drawback as the patients must remain still with minimal movement for 20 to 40 seconds for image collection and prevent distortions. It is observed that radiation exposure is a major concern among many people related to the x-rays of their mouths. However, compared to 2D X-rays, 3D & Digital Dental X-Rays ensure much lower radiation exposure. Additionally, it provides better diagnostic accuracy, higher possible imagery, and low scan time and cost. Further developments are going on in the 3D & Digital Dental X-Rays system, which is expected to ensure better oral care needs and confidence to the users in the coming years.
3D Printing Technology
3D printing technology is new to the healthcare industry. However, it has registered significant growth in a short period of time. Like other segments, 3D printing is taking the dental care segment to the next level with endless possibilities. In the dental care segment, 3D printing technology in healthcare has several applications, such as the replacement or repair of a damaged tooth. 3D Printing Technology helps to create an orthodontic model of the teeth using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software and digitally designing the tooth repair. The models are key in determining the type of misalignment in the teeth. It also helps to provide the best treatment course. Moreover, 3D Printing Technology can be used to produce crowns, bridges, caps, dentures, and other prosthetic devices and construct surgical tools.
3D Printing Technology in the dental care segment has several benefits, as it can help dentists and patients to save money. Moreover, it is a much faster and more accurate result for dental and orthopedic services. As per DelveInsight, the 3D printing market in the dental care segment is expected to grow in the coming years, owing to the development of 3D printers, expansion in the materials being manufactured, and the active participation of key companies in the market. As technology becomes more mainstream, it is expected to have a greater impact on the dental care segment and provide greater patient comfort.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in Dental Care Management
Augmented Reality (AR) is a promising technology in the healthcare industry. In the oral care segment, AR has several key applications and can be used for dental implantology by displaying dynamic navigation systems and educating patients about the treatment plan. AR allows the dentist to view a three-dimensional model in front of them while operating on the patient. With the help of a digital camera, Augmented Reality can depict an improved set of teeth virtually before conducting cosmetic dental procedures and other clinical purposes such as oral and maxillofacial surgery. Similarly, AR technology can deliver realistic simulation, and it can be used as a valuable educational tool that can provide better training to dentists for various surgical procedures.
In the healthcare segment, anxiety and pain are the most common issues that affect the surgical outcome and create discomfort in the patient’s mind. However, with the help of Virtual Reality (VR), we can easily overcome the issues such as reducing fear, anxiety, and pain among patients. Virtual Reality allows patients to view oral check-up scenes to help them feel relaxed and calm. Several VR products are available in the market to distract the patient’s mind and his/her awareness from the painful surgical procedure by quickly reducing their anxiety and taking them into a different dimension known as “involuntary mindfulness.”
Virtual Reality has immense potential in the training segment as well. In the virtual environment, students and aspiring orthodontists may get a feel of the real-time surgery process. Overall, we can say that AR and VR hold immense potential in the dental care market that provides totally new and innovative ways to diagnose and treat various oral problems.
Dental Care Market: Future Perspective
Apart from the above-mentioned innovations, intra-oral cameras, regenerative dentistry, CRISPR, and Artificial intelligence are other emerging technologies creating a positive impact on the dental care market. The incorporation of more and more innovative technologies is expected to boost the dental care market in the coming years. As per DelveInsight, dental care is a fast-growing segment, and several new trends and innovations are emerging with each passing day and driving the market growth at an immense pace. The ongoing innovation and their greater adoption in the dental care segment are expected to provide improved treatment and better healthcare outcomes. Similarly, emerging cutting-edge technologies will also have a greater impact on market growth.