Dental News - Chinese and Indian markets for CAD/CAM systems to see double-digit growth through 2017

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Chinese and Indian markets for CAD/CAM systems to see double-digit growth through 2017

Total CAD/CAM systems market, China and India, 2007-2017. (DTI/table courtesy of iData Research)
Dr. Kamran Zamanian and Stephen Teng, B. Sc, iData Research

Dr. Kamran Zamanian and Stephen Teng, B. Sc, iData Research

Fri. 12 August 2011


In 2010, the Chinese and Indian markets for dental prosthetics, which included crowns, bridges and dentures, were valued at over $652 million. The global economic recession of 2008 and 2009 resulted in a slight slowdown in total market growth; however, by acquiring market share from conventionally made prosthetics in China and India, the market for CAD/CAM manufactured prosthetics is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 30 percent by 2017.

CAD/CAM systems are becoming an increasingly popular platform and a growing number of Chinese and Indian dental clinics and laboratories are incorporating these systems into their business practices. The technology is becoming more flexible, offering a wide variety of user options for the manufacturing of dental prosthetics. CAD/CAM equipment is also more operationally efficient over traditional manual methods of production. The demand for CAD/CAM blocks is also directly related to the demand for CAD/CAM systems and technologies. As prices decrease and dental laboratories continue to adopt the technology, the CAD/CAM market is expected to see strong growth. The CAD/CAM prosthetics market is largely driven by a movement towards more aesthetically pleasing dental restorations and the rise in all-ceramic materials. Sirona, Dentsply Friadent and AmannGirrbach are just three of several companies who have managed to garner a significant share on these markets.

Technological advancements increasing demand in CAD/CAM market

The computer aided design/computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) market is broken into three distinct segments: full laboratory systems, stand-alone scanners and chairside CAD/CAM systems. In 2010, in-lab systems accounted for the majority of the Chinese and Indian market, followed by stand-alone scanner systems and chairside systems. This is the opposite of global trends, where chairside systems generally dominate the market. One explanation for this is the traditionally low cost of labor in China and India, as well as the hefty investment required to purchase a chairside system. Both of these factors dissuade most dentists in these countries from buying chairside systems for their clinics.

In 2010, the CAD/CAM system market was in the early stages of its development in China and India, exhibiting high unit growth rates. While the penetration of this market is still relatively low, the Chinese CAD/CAM system market is significantly more developed. Both countries have, to a large extent, already accepted materials with higher aesthetic values. All-ceramic CAD/CAM manufactured prosthetics in particular are expected to represent the fastest growing segment, increasing at a CAGR of over 30 percent from 2010 through 2017.

Although CAD/CAM technologies have been used in the dental industry for over 20 years, recent developments have made the technology more efficient and cost-effective. Technological advancements have enabled scanners to be more precise, CAD/CAM software to have more design options, milling units to become faster and new materials to be stronger and more aesthetically pleasing. New technology also enables dental labs to increase production by eliminating many steps in the manufacturing process. In addition, less material is wasted and fewer mistakes are made as computerized systems do not rely on the skill level of the technician.

Not only do the manufacturing capacity and accuracy improve with each upgraded CAD/CAM system that enters the market, but advancements also give dentists and lab technicians more options for device fabrication. For instance, CAD/CAM manufacturers are moving toward open architecture, meaning that the software can be used in conjunction with any milling unit. In addition, CAD/CAM users can manufacture prosthetic devices with a variety of materials, such as wax/composite material, and metals such as titanium. The versatility and improved capabilities of these new technologies have already encouraged adoption; the total Chinese and Indian CAD/CAM systems market grew by more than 21 percent in 2010.

CAD/CAM system growth fuels CAD/CAM block market

The demand for CAD/CAM blocks is directly related to the demand for CAD/CAM systems and technologies. CAD/CAM blocks are the substrate materials used for producing prosthetics, including crowns, bridges, inlays/onlays and veneers. The blocks are manufactured specifically for use in CAD/CAM milling systems and are available in all-ceramic materials, such as zirconia, lithium discilicates and glass, as well as metals and acrylics. The number of prosthetics generated per block depends on the prosthesis; however, for the most part one block is used for one crown unit where multiple inlay/onlays and veneers can be milled from one block. Metal and porcelain are expected to experience the highest rates of growth through 2017. Total unit growth in the CAD/CAM block market will be driven by the increased adoption rate of dental CAD/CAM technology, as well as the availability of low-priced products from China. Through 2017, the number of units sold will grow steadily in both China and India.

In-lab full CAD/CAM and clinical chairside systems mill different types of blocks. Most of the leading competitors that offer milling CAD/CAM technology produce their own blocks. For example, Nobel Biocare only competes in the CAD/CAM scanner market by manufacturing the Procera® system. The company operates under a centralized milling system that supplies its own CAD/CAM blocks to its milling center. In other instances, some companies are licensed to exclusively make CAD/CAM blocks. Manufacturers of CAD/CAM blocks will see demand increase as the market for CAD/CAM prosthetics grows rapidly.

In 2010, Sirona was the market leader in China and India for the total CAD/CAM system market. As the sole competitor in the chairside CAD/CAM segment in China and India, Sirona has benefited substantially from this position. A major source of the company’s market share in 2010 was due to sales of the CEREC® chairside CAD/CAM system. This system benefits patients by providing the convenience of same day treatment, as the restoration is fabricated in-house and placed immediately, thus reducing chair time.

DENTSPLY Friadent also garnered a substantial share of the total CAD/CAM system market. DENTSPLY offers flexible systems for users, as the company’s full system Cercon® Brain offers milling capabilities. The Cercon® Eye scanners are also capable of sending digital files to other milling facilities. Many Chinese dental laboratories have invested in purchasing DENTSPLY CAD/CAM systems due to their favorable reputation world-wide. Meanwhile, a relatively new competitor to the market, AmannGirrbach also maintained significant market share, particularly in India. AmannGirrbach has been well received due to its open system platform, competitive pricing, and strong reputation for German engineering. Many smaller scale dental labs have chosen to invest in the more compact, non-milling center version of this system.

Additional information is available

The information contained in this article is taken from a detailed and comprehensive report published by iData Research ( titled Emerging Markets for Dental Prosthetics and CAD/CAM Devices 2011. Asia Pacific, U.S. and European versions of this report are also available for purchase. For more information on the above report, please contact:

iData Research is an international market research and consulting firm focused on providing market intelligence for the medical device, dental and pharmaceutical industries. Watch their short company movie at:


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