The global market for dental X-ray equipment expanded to more than $2.14 billion in 2012 as a result of digitalization, and is set to rise by 14 percent to reach $2.44 billion in 2017.
Growth in dental X-ray equipment will be driven by the increased adoption of cone beam computed tomography (CT) and the switch from analog intraoral film to digital, according to a new report entitled “Dental X-ray Equipment – World – 2013” from IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), a leading global source of critical information and insight.
“Demand for dental X-ray equipment is being driven by advanced uses in mature markets such as prosthetics, implants and orthodontics. These dental specialties require a clearer view of the patient’s physiology, driving demand for cone beam CT,” said Sarah Jones, analyst for medical electronics at IHS. “Shipments of cone beam CT equipment revenue accounted for an estimated 27 percent of annual dental X-ray equipment shipments in 2012. That total is predicted to rise to more than 30 percent in 2017.”
Developments in computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) is also driving demand for cone beam CT. CAD/CAM is a technology that is increasing in popularity in the dental application, to aid in the creation of crowns, veneers, dentures and full-mouth reconstructions. CAD/CAM systems are used to improve treatment accuracy, save time and provide implants at a much lower cost. Combined use of cone beam CT and CAD/CAM technology is increasing, with dental manufacturers now developing software to link cone beam CT images to CAD/CAM software.
Intraoral X-ray unit shipments are also set to rise, with more dentists opting to use digital X-ray sensors rather than traditional analog film. Developed markets, such as Western Europe and North America, are spurring the transition to digital sensors. Meanwhile in the emerging markets, intraoral units are forecast to increase as the regions become more aware of the benefits of dental X-ray, with intraoral X-ray the first priority in the majority of cases.
The continued digitalization of intraoral X-rays will drive unit shipment growth in both emerging and well-established markets. However, it will be in the well-established markets where new installations being purchased for the first time in dental practices and upgrades from analog to digital will take place.
Overall, CAD/CAM programs will become more prevalent in the dental market, with more cone beam CT systems linking to this technology. Dental practices, for their part, will focus on expanding their services into implantology, orthodontics and prosthetics. The need for more advanced imaging will also drive growth within the cone beam CT market.
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