Invisible orthodontics are products which utilize clear or transparent aligners or braces to adjust teeth as a substitute to traditional dental braces. In the recent years, the emphasis on aesthetic dentistry has substantially increased owing to the consumer preference for procedures and products which are either visually appealing or such that they only subtly modify the appearance of an individual. Orthodontics has seen a noticeable shift from product driven to patient driven industry. Moreover, an increasing number of individuals are opting for orthodontic treatments across the globe. In a bid to meet the patient preference for aesthetically pleasing products, the concept of invisible orthodontics arose. The consumer group opting for braces treatment is usually the youth, who are highly conscious regarding their looks. Thus, invisible orthodontics helps to address this consumer need perfectly. Furthermore, these days most patients, and not only the youth who attach importance to their appearance for social or work reasons would probably refuse conventional orthodontic treatment and prefer the invisible orthodontic treatment. Such a shift in consumer preference is set to drive the invisible orthodontics market during the forecast period from 2016 to 2024.
The market for invisible orthodontics has been segmented by type of device and geography. Based on the type of device, the market has been segmented into clear aligners, clear retainers, lingual braces and ceramic braces. Orthodontic ceramic braces are as effective as metal braces, but are nearly invisible, making it a more attractive cosmetic option for the wearer. The ceramic braces are colored the same shade as the tooth, and hence they are far less visible than traditional metal braces. Certain versions of ceramic braces also ensure that the wire that runs between them is the same color as the tooth, further helping to disguise them. However, newer innovations have been steadily capturing increasing proportion of the invisible orthodontics market every year. These include clear aligners and lingual braces. While, ceramic braces require very careful maintenance to avoid staining the ceramic support and are not completely invisible, clear aligners and lingual braces achieve the purpose of invisible orthodontics entirely since they are almost completely invisible when the patient smiles or speaks. For this reason, the growth of these segments is anticipated to be higher than other sub-segments in the global invisible orthodontics market. Moreover, the recent bright financial performance of Align Technology Inc. further substantiates the fact that clear aligners are a growing trend in the invisible orthodontics market. In November 2016, Align Technology, Inc. reported high-volume shipments of its clear aligners in the third quarter with a 20.5% year-over-year jump from 2015. Strong U.S. and international growth for its clear aligners drove the orthodontic-device maker’s overwhelming financial results in the period above (Q3 2016).
Based on geography, the market has been segmented into the following regions: North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East and Africa. It has been estimated that more than four million people in the U.S. have braces, and one-fourth of those patients are adults. Recent trends point towards a greater number of adults opting for orthodontics. Moreover, cosmetic dentistry is gaining importance and adults in the entertainment and news industry as well as industries such as hospitality which require the individual to be pleasing and presentable, are increasingly opting for braces such as lingual braces to enhance their appearance and boost self-confidence. North America is expected to be the leading region in the invisible orthodontics medicine market, owing to the greater adoption of these superior braces among the teens as well as adults. The U.K. sees many cases of patients who stopped wearing their retainers as teenagers and who now need braces again. They are more conscious about their looks and readily accepting invisible orthodontics as a quick and effective way to manage their orthodontic relapse. Europe is anticipated to serve as the second largest market for invisible orthodontics, while Asia Pacific is likely to register the third position, owing to lesser population opting for costlier dental treatments in the price-sensitive economies of India and China.
The major players operating in the invisible orthodontics market include 3M, Align Technology, Inc., Ormco Corporation and DENTSPLY International.