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Dentistry industry trends in 2024: recent dental innovations and new developments

03 January · 5 minutes

In the dental sector, technological advances and the consequences of COVID-19 have brought about a paradigm shift in processes, the treatments offered and how business models have evolved. This is a transformation that has been in the making for the last few years and, in 2024, we will see these dentistry industry trends being consolidated.

If in 2024 you would like to step up as a dental professional, keep up to date with the trends in the sector and learn about the future of dentistry, this article is for you.

Growth in cosmetic dentistry

One of the current 2024 trends in dentistry is the growth of cosmetic dental treatments. As the Mordor Intelligence study ‚ÄúCosmetic Dentistry Market: Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact and Forecasts‚ÄĚ shows, the cosmetic dental market is expected to have an annual growth rate of 7.1% until 2025.

Treatments focused on improving the appearance of the smile have experienced a rise in recent years, as people are ever more concerned about their image, and dental aesthetics is key to achieving this. Amongst the most common cosmetic dental treatments are teeth whitening and veneers, both of which are offered at Impress clinics to help our patients get a dazzling smile.

Doctor performs a teeth whitening treatment on a patient.

Digital dentistry boost

Another recent trend in dentistry that remains on the rise, and still has room for further development in terms of its importance, is digital dentistry.

According to Fortune Business Insights research, digitalisation is one of the main causes of growth in the dental industry. As the study shows, the rise of the sector has been accelerated by the implementation of dental innovations that improve the quality of treatments, facilitate the work of professionals and make the clinical experience more efficient and pleasant for patients. Innovations in dental practices, such as the use of 3D printing and Artificial Intelligence, are key to the future development of digital dentistry, as we will see below.

Innovation in the dental sector: 3D printing

3D printing is causing a revolution across all sectors, including dentistry, due to the low costs involved and the speed of production.

In the dental sector, 3D printing has been growing at an annual rate of 20.2% since 2022 and is expected to continue until at least 2027, according to a study by Markets and Markets on the future of dentistry.

One of the main advantages of 3D printing in the dental sector is that it allows parts to be manufactured very accurately and in a wide variety of materials at a faster speed than traditional methods. At Impress, dental aligners are produced using 3D printing, which allows us to create very detailed, resistant and high quality parts for our treatments.

Doctor hands the patient an aligner while we see their oral scan on a screen in the background.

The latest trend in digital dentistry: the Artificial Intelligence boom

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is another latest trend in dentistry contributing to the digitisation of the sector. Its use is becoming increasingly widespread thanks to the advantages it brings to the practice, as it enables more efficient and accurate diagnoses, treatments and follow-ups, reducing time and increasing precision compared to traditional methods.

AI has many applications in the dental sector and, as the technology develops, more will emerge that will continue to digitise the industry. Here are some of the most common applications today:

  • Virtual assistants trained to meet the needs of dentists, allowing practitioners to streamline workflow.
  • Retrieving and analysing patient histories using pattern-detecting algorithms to accurately identify patient lesions or infections.
  • Smart toothbrushes to collect patient information and provide practitioners with data on patients‚Äô brushing habits.
  • Intraoral and extraoral X-ray analyses, which can reduce the time and effort professionals spend on dental charting by up to 70%, as concluded by an FDA study.

Growth of teledentistry

The COVID-19 pandemic marked a turning point for teledentistry, which has become an ever more popular service post-pandemic and is expected to continue to grow until at least 2030, a study by Research and Markets concludes.

In order to maintain patients’ oral health, dental professionals have to resort to technology to interact with them more and more, as an alternative to face-to-face visits, and to be able to carry out check-ups and follow-ups remotely. It is important to emphasise that teledentistry cannot fully replace face-to-face appointments, which are key in the diagnostic phase, for certain interventions and treatments, or outcomes during these.

Teledentistry allows patients to visit the dentist from home, saving travel and waiting time. It also facilitates the accessibility of orthodontic clinics for the elderly, people with mobility issues or those who live in areas without access to dental clinics.

One of the most widespread ways of offering teledentistry services is through mobile applications. For example, with the Impress app, all our patients can have consultations and follow-ups for their treatment remotely, thus enabling better patient and clinic management.

Shot taken from above of the contents of the Impress pack.

Commitment to the environment: a recent trend in dentistry

93% of European citizens consider climate change a serious problem that affects us directly. Businesses cannot turn their backs on this latent public concern and, as a result, companies are increasingly adopting measures to reduce their environmental impact.

This has been a trend in recent years that is impacting the dentistry industry as it is becoming ever more important in the choice between one clinic or another, especially for the younger generations.

Adopting environmentally friendly policies paints the dental practice in a positive and committed light in the eyes of the patient, whilst also providing benefits to the business, such as waste reduction, better energy efficiency and a deduction in expenses.

At our Impress clinics we have already made a commitment to the environment and our invisible orthodontic treatments use aligners made of recyclable plastic materials. They can thus be put to new use, as fuel, material for other industries or soil treatments, amongst others, once their life as aligners is over.

The rise of chains: an innovation in the dental sector

Another trend changing the structure of the dentistry industry is the growth of dental groups, as opposed to traditional clinics.

In many countries, the number of dentistry graduates has increased, meaning that, inevitably, competition has grown exponentially between clinics, driving down wage costs and making treatment more affordable. This is advantageous for large groups, which, due to their high turnover, can operate with better margins. In this context, dental chains have experienced a gradual growth, whilst traditional dental clinics are increasingly unstable.

This situation is compounded by another factor: the constant technological innovation previously discussed in this article. This has allowed new business models to emerge, such as the example of Impress, which presents a model specialising in invisible aligners with the use of technology to optimise processes.

In this scenario of increased competition and optimisation in all processes thanks to technology, there is an opportunity for growth for chains, as shown by upward trends: in October 2022, dental clinic groups grew by 22% compared to the previous year.

In a favourable context for chains, many professionals are choosing to join these large companies, either as employees or by associating their clinics with them. If you have a dental clinic, associating it with a larger group such as Impress is a good option to improve processes and offer new treatments without the need for much investment.

Join Impress!

If you are a professional in the sector and would like to work at Impress, we would be delighted to hear from you. We have many of our own clinics in the UK, so there is sure to be an Impress clinic near you.

If, on the other hand, you have a dental clinic and are interested in offering more services, optimising your processes and improving the performance of your practice in general, you can join the Impress network of associated clinics. Don't hesitate to contact us and become part of the invisible orthodontics revolution.

We look forward to meeting you!

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