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Posted in | Nanomedicine | Nanobusiness

Advances in Nanotechnology and Dentistry

Published on October 5, 2009 at 9:01 PM

Research and Markets, the leading source for international market research and market data, has announced the addition of Frost + Sullivan's new report "Advances in Dental Equipment and Materials" to their offering.

Developments in dentistry, driven by years of research, have made dental procedures less painful, fast, reliable, effective, and safe. Innovative technologies such as digital dentistry, lasers, cosmetic dentistry, implants, nanotechnology, and nanorobots have had a significant impact on the dental equipment and materials industry. The increasing aging baby-boomer population, enhanced levels of dental care, a growing link between oral health and overall health, and rising demand for specialty treatments have boosted growth in the dental industry. "A key factor driving growth in the dental industry is the aging baby boomer population in developed countries and increased expectations from the elderly about optimal health," note the analysts of this research. "As people age, there is a greater demand for dental restorations and implants, bolstering the dental implants market worldwide." Baby boomer consumers are also likely to have a significant impact, mainly on the implant industry. Moreover, there exists a huge unmet need, as the penetration of dental implants worldwide is still low.

Globally, tooth loss, gum, and bone diseases affect millions of people across all age groups. Several hundred million people are believed to be living with at least one or more missing teeth. Therefore, there is huge potential in the dental equipment and materials market for both emerging as well as established companies. Statistics reveal that 69 percent of adults aged between 35 and 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth due to an accident, gum disease, a failed root canal, or tooth decay. Furthermore, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), 26 percent of adults have lost all of their permanent teeth by the age of 74, requiring dentures. According to a recent review by the Clinic for Periodontology, Endodontology and Cariology, Dental School, University of Basel, Switzerland, nearly half of the adult population in most European countries has had some type of prosthetic dental restoration.

Companies Opt for Strategic Partnerships Focusing on Operational Efficiency to Stay in Business

Developing dental equipment is expensive, and the cost of R&D is further increased because the base technologies involved are costly. Therefore, it is crucial for funding agencies to fund the right kind of research that supports the growth of the dental industry. "The equipment segment of the industry is likely to be most affected because of the global economic slowdown and consequent credit crunch," explains the analyst. "The high developmental costs associated with designing, fabricating, and testing dental equipment need to be overcome."

To meet the cost requirements, outsourcing technology development has been adopted as a viable option. In the United States, with more people opting for dental restorative procedures and the escalating pressure on dentists to reduce costs and improve profit margins, much of the dental work carried out is imported from countries such as the Philippines, China, India, and Pakistan. "Since venture capitalists are becoming more cautious about their investment plans, companies need to devise smarter procedures and technologies to stay in business," concludes the analyst. "Strategic partnerships and increasing focus on improving operational efficiency will be a major cost and time saver for the companies." Larger laboratories could transfer their work overseas to regions with inexpensive labor. Numerous laboratories based out of the United States and Europe already have production facilities set-up in Hong Kong, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Additionally, companies are looking at the option of going digital to churn out innovations in order to stay in business. Virtual touch could be the next revolution in dental technology. Experts believe that digital dentistry would save precious time, improve quality, and enhance accuracy tremendously, thereby significantly minimizing human error and ensuring that patients get the value for their money.

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