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Innotec Dental



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Foshan Innotec Dental Equipment Co., Ltd.

No.10, Hengguizhong Road, Luocun, Nanhai District, Foshan, Guangdong, China

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The Market For Digital Dental Imaging

Digital dental imaging technologies such as digital x-ray, cone beam computed tomography, digital impression system and caries detection devices are spreading, though at a different pace, among the most developed dental markets such as the U.S. and Europe. However, in the Long term their popularity is expected to rise also in emerging markets such as Russia, India, Brazil and China.

Digital dental radiography involves the use of an electronic sensor, an x-ray film scanner and a computer with an imaging software, generating computerized images of the dental structure of the patient. These computer systems may be intraoral or extraoral-based. Among the benefits of digital dental x-ray, there are reduced radiation exposure, efficient and fast production and transmission of images( resulting in shorter treatment times), increased accuracy and visibility thanks to 3-D and color effects as well as environmental safety improved by the elimination of chemical processing or silver salts. On the other hand, the cost of a fully equipped digital x-ray unit is 3 to 5 time more than traditional analogue systems, preventing it from being a practical choice of smaller or start-up practices.

The market for dental implants is the fastest growing segment globally, at an annual rate of 15%. The rising demand for implants is boosting the request for modern imaging technologies used to plan implant treatments, Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is one of the most promising segments, as it allows more information being available with less invasive modalities. The market for CBCT Scanners has registered a 35% growth in the last three years and is expected to expand at faster rates compared to other imaging technologies.

Dental diagnosis and treatment will increasingly use a combination of digital imaging and impression systems, with digital images turned into 3D models allowing an enhanced predictive capacity. Even guided surgery and restoration will be significantly impacted by digital imaging, as 3D digital design software can be used to operate implant interventions with a precise planning of implant location.

The digitalization of the dental industry will undoubtedly bring benefits in term of efficiency, as the volume of work typically involved in analogue processes will be reduced, including the load of manual work and the cost of intermediate products. If all the different players across the value chain are digitally connected , the workflow management will have to be adjusted in terms of processes and materials just as it happened in other industries where the shift to digital has already taken place such as photography. Currently only a part of dentistry involves digital technologies, basically planning and designing, as not all the steps can be carried on without relying on an analogue or physical tool. But in the near future, activities such as impression-taking and fitting tests for crowns could easily be replaced by intraoral scanning and digital fitting, thus eliminating the need for additional visits or correction of failures in the products respectively.

Moreover, digital images can be stored together with other information in electronic patient records and be ready for any application by practice management software , or available to the dental professional simply via a secure Internet connection , In the future, interactive consultations with digital x-rays showed by the dentist to the patient on screen , or discussions on complex cases with other distant professionals will be possible and interoperability will become the key issue in dental practices management.

Digital technologies do not only impact on dental professionals' diagnosis capability and treatment planning. Laboratories and dental manufacturers as well need to cope with the increasing integration of systems and processes. While the shift from analogue to digital dentistry is still underway, the role of the industry has become crucial not only as a provider of technology and equipment but also as educational driver to support the adoption of these new technologies. Manufacturers can increase the access to the digital market place by bringing education and support to smaller laboratory owners and dentists along with the new digital solutions and materials.