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Dental aligners market driven by technological advancements and consumer demand

Malocclusion – the misalignment of teeth – is a widespread concern impacting individuals globally, with varying prevalence across age groups and regions. The condition not only affects oral health but also has aesthetic and psychosocial implications, emphasising the importance of effective treatment for both physical and mental well-being.

Patients are increasingly choosing clear aligners over traditional braces due to their discreet appearance, comfort and ability to be removed. Ongoing technological advancements are also improving the predictability and effectiveness of aligners, making them suitable for a wider range of patients. As a result, the patient demographic is shifting from primarily adults to include more teens and adolescents, leading to increased market penetration. However, it is important to note that patient compliance is crucial for successful treatment outcomes, and complex cases may still require traditional braces or dental surgery, preventing aligners from being suitable for everyone.

The market was worth $6.2 billion in 2023

The Covid-19 pandemic significantly accelerated market growth, with the dental aligners market value doubling between 2020 and 2021 amid lockdowns and heightened focus on personal health and appearance. According to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, the dental aligners market value was $6.2 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14% from 2023 to 2033.

GlobalData’s comprehensive report, Dental Aligners Market Size by Segments, Share, Regulatory, Reimbursement, Procedures and Forecast to 2033, reveals that Align Technology maintains a dominant position with more than 50% market share, while competitors like Dentsply Sirona and ClearCorrect (Straumann) hold smaller shares of 5 to 6% each. The market is sensitive to economic factors such as inflation, which can influence consumer spending and contribute to market volatility. This makes it challenging for new companies to enter this competitive landscape, despite the market potential.

Innovation and strategic market penetration will drive growth

The recent bankruptcy and exit from the market of SmileDirectClub in December 2023 serves as a reminder of the challenges of direct-to-consumer business models. Broader concerns within the medical community regarding the efficacy and safety of mail-in treatments persist, highlighting the need for current manufacturers to refine their practices to meet the high expectations of medical professionals and patients. By enhancing their standards of care and ensuring rigorous oversight, these companies can demonstrate that dental aligners are a safe and effective treatment method. This moment allows them to build trust and reinforce their commitment to quality amid the concerns of both consumers and the medical community.

Looking ahead, future competitive dynamics in the dental aligners market will be driven by innovation and strategic market penetration. Technological advancements will continue to make treatments more affordable and effective, positioning the dental aligners market for sustained growth, particularly in emerging economies and Western cultures. To capitalise on the vast untapped market opportunities, companies must address existing barriers and improve access to affordable care. Tailored marketing strategies and continuous innovation will be essential for companies to maintain and grow their share.

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