The markets for the digital dentistry products are highly competitive. The competitive factors are features, reliability, brand name recognition, distribution network, customer service, and price. The product cycles are shortening. Vendors work to develop, complete testing, obtain regulatory approval and sell commercial quantities of new products in a timely manner.
The digital dental CAD/CAM systems, digital dental x-ray, laser, and scanner markets are characterized by changing customer needs. Change relates to efficiencies provided by the technology. As the technology becomes improved, systems are more modern units are offered. Vendors are positioning to extend core technologies to new applications and anticipate and respond to emerging standards, business models, service delivery methods and other technological changes.
Digital Dental CAD/CAM systems are priced to sell equipment and software. Sales include the parts and printing services business. Services suppliers are operating on a local level. Success depends on the ability to enhance existing products and services. New products and services are introduced on a timely basis. Vendors seek to provide cost-effective solutions.
According the Susan Eustis, principal author of the study, “factors driving this market include achievement of higher capability for efficient care delivery by dentists. Fewer visits are needed to install crowns and bridges, creating incentive and ROI for practicing dentists to move to digital dentistry. Increased demand for better dentistry and more aesthetic outcomes is a significant market trend. Systems implementations are dependent on patients having disposable income that they are willing to invest in their teeth.”
Research, manufacturing, and marketing resources are key aspects of market participation.
Dentists use a digital scanner to map out a patient’s dental structure in digital dentistry. The scan is sent electronically to a server where the digital information is processed. Crowns and bridges are made efficiently. The dentist or labs fabricate the crown or bridge restoration according to the doctor’s prescription. The digital process is faster and more precise than traditional methods.
Sub-segments of the global market for dental restorations are in-mouth fillings and out-of-mouth pre-shaped restorations. CAD/CAM-produced ceramic restorations represent a growing portion of the out-of-mouth restoration market. The number of out-of-mouth restorations prepared with CAD/CAM systems has increased substantially. The number of dental practitioners and dental laboratories using CAD/CAM technology has increased and will continue to do so at ever increasing rates of penetration.
Vendors are continuing to pursue a growth strategy that focuses on strategic initiatives:
Build global services
Accelerate personal and professional 3D printer penetration
Grow healthcare solutions
The ability to grow 3D content-to-print solutions through global services depends on having trained, capable services representatives all over the world. This is not so easy. The strategy depends on combining organic growth with acquisitions. A services strategy is needed to enable imparting the latest technology to customers Services work may occur months or years in advance of customer abilities to invest in new printers. The opportunity to build brand awareness will pay off in customer loyalty in the long term, only if the brand has superior technology.
Accelerating 3D printer penetration through channel expansion and new products will provide a growing installed base to enable higher revenues from recurring sales of print materials and services. The ability to build a strong customer base depends in part on the ability to offer products at vastly reduced prices to buy the customer base in anticipation of building a supplies business. In some cases other companies are better able to manage a supplies business because the corporate culture and the customer contacts permit bundling a large number of different supplies.
Digital dentistry markets for low iron glass at $444.6 million in 2010 are expected to reach $1.2 billion by 2017. Growth is expected to achieve marked improvements in the efficiency of dentist clinician care delivery and the longevity of crowns and bridges.
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