While Align Technology's direct-to-consumer marketing campaign for its Invisalign invisible retainer has hurt Hawley retainer sales--considered the bread-and-butter restoration of many orthodontic laboratories--the company's marketing blitz has increased public awareness for orthodontic treatment and overall demand is on the rise. The company's efforts have also targeted general practitioners, resulting in many GPs tapping into this new market.
Here are some recent trends that have further strengthened the orthodontic market:
Earlier--and more effective--orthodontic treatment for children. Thanks to the Herbst appliance, which is fixed in the mouth, it's now common to start treating malocclusions at eight to 10 years old instead of 12 to 13.
Shifts in restorative demand. In addition to the Herbst appliance, there's an increase in other fixed appliances such as fixed molar distalizers and distal jets and a corresponding decline in removable appliances such as frankels, bionators and twin blocks. Since fixed appliances can't be removed by the patient, they give the dentist more control, speed treatment time and improve success rates.
Increase in splints to treat TMJ and bruxism. Dental consumers and clinicians are more informed about the problems and how to treat them, creating an enormous growth area for ortho labs.
Oral appliances to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). A variety of factors are contributing to this growing niche market: OSA is becoming a more commonly diagnosed disorder, the dental consumer's awareness of OSA is growing, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine's guidelines now promote the use of oral appliance therapy and insurance companies are offering greater coverage.
How technology and restorative changes are impacting the specialties
For more market trends visit:
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