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Clear Aligners Market: 3D & CAD Improve Treatment Efficacy


22, May 2023

According to WHO Global Oral Health Status Report 2022, oral diseases affect around 3.5 billion individuals globally. Periodontal disease is one such condition affecting approximately 19% of the global population, resulting in tooth fallout on several occasions. Further, as per the National Center for Biotechnology (NCBI) , around 93% of adolescents between 12-18 are diagnosed with malocclusion, which refers to developmental abnormalities of teeth. This high prevalence of dental conditions has influenced dentists to adopt advanced solutions, including invisible aligners. Triton’s estimates suggest the global clear aligners market will advance with a CAGR of 29.3% during the forecast period 2023-2030.

While both braces and clear aligners treat malocclusion, the latter technology has gained prominence owing to shorter treatment duration as well as convenience over braces. In recent years align procedures have gained prominence, with clear correct aligners popular among young adults and teenagers due to superior comfort and aesthetic appeal.

While aesthetic appeal has been an attractive marketing strategy, players are expanding their footing with the help of cutting-edge technologies.

CAD/CAM Technology: Innovation Shapes Clear Aligner Treatments

Computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing have enabled dentists to accomplish complex treatments faster and more accurately. The technology constructs dental veneers, crowns, inlays, aligners, etc., more precisely than traditional methods. Over the recent years, CAD/CAM technology has enabled dental specialists to provide aesthetically pleasing options with decreased side effects and long-lasting restorations. This growing prominence led Align Technology, a medical device company manufacturing the Invisalign system of clear aligners and CAD/CAM software, to establish ‘Align Innovation Center (AIC)’ in Hyderabad, India.

Developed through CAD-CAM technology and thermoformed plastic materials, customized clear correct aligners have gained popularity among teens seeking to improve their appearance while avoiding metal braces. In this regard, the launch of Invisalign Teen has enabled dentists to enhance an individual’s profile by developing the lower jaw. As per industry sources, around 1 million teenagers have opted for clear aligners over braces, especially in North America and Asia-Pacific.

Aesthetic Aligners with 3D Printing and Imaging

According to WHO, malocclusion is the third most prevalent dental condition globally, following dental caries and periodontal disease. Given the high prevalence, clear aligners supported by advanced 3D technology have proven effective in treating crooked teeth, overbites, cross bites, etc. As per the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, dental procedures prefer digital workflow with 3D printers to reduce treatment time and improve outcomes. Besides, estimates suggest that more than 20% of patients are willing to pay more to reduce treatment time.

Given the rising benefits of 3D systems, Align Technology introduced a 3D treatment plan, ‘ClinCheck Treatment Plan,’ that designs custom-made Invisalign aligners based on the patient’s teeth X-rays and impressions. Further, on April 20, 2023, LuxCreo, a 3D printing clear dental appliances specialist, launched an FDA Class II 510(k) cleared end-to-end solution for dentists and orthodontists. This approach enables professionals to deliver aligners via oral scan in less than 2 hours. Such innovations are thus expected to widen the scope of the clear aligners market over the forecast period.

Dental Tourism & Teledentistry Expands Application Prospects

Dental treatment has emerged as a prominent medical tourism segment in recent years. Low-cost cosmetic dental treatments in emerging economies like Mexico, India, South Korea, etc., back this growing trend. For instance, estimates indicate the cost of smile designing in the US is around $8000, whereas it is about $1000 in India. The rising virtual patient consultations or teledentistry has also boosted online (e-commerce) and offline (direct-to-consumer) sales of dental accessories like invisible aligners. Therefore, in retrospect, the growing need for low-cost and low turnaround time in dental treatments opens avenues for the clear aligners market.


Q1) In which age groups are clear aligners widely preferred?

Adults and teens are two major age groups opting for clear aligners technology.

Q2) What factors drive the clear aligners market?

The high prevalence of malocclusions, the advent of 3D printing and CAD/CAM technology, and customization drive the clear aligners market.


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