The global dental 3D printing market is poised for robust growth over the next several years, according to a new report from MarketsandMarkets. The market was valued at $3 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach $6.7 billion by 2028, reflecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.5%.

Rising rates of dental diseases such as tooth decay, growth in geriatric populations requiring dental care, and increasing adoption of advanced technologies like computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) are key factors expected to drive demand. Dental 3D printing provides benefits like reduced product development times, ability to create complex geometries, minimized material waste, and mass customization of dental appliances.

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The report segments the global market by product and service, technology, application, end-user, and region. Equipment like dental 3D printers and scanners account for the largest revenue share currently. However VAT photopolymerization is the fastest growing technology segment, which includes methods like stereolithography, digital light processing, and LCD 3D printing. LCD is seen as an especially affordable resin printing technique poised for significant adoption rates.

In terms of applications, prosthodontics and orthodontics make up the majority of dental 3D printing presently. By end-user, dental laboratories dominate, followed by hospitals and clinics. From a regional standpoint, Europe and North America together hold around 60% market share, but the Asia Pacific market is anticipated to grow the fastest over the next five years.

Recent industry developments highlight the potential for consolidation and innovation in dental 3D printing going forwards. For example, 3D Systems moved to acquire fellow 3D printer manufacturer Wematter while Desktop Metal and Stratasys announced plans to merge. The deal combines Desktop Metal’s expertise in mass production additive techniques with Stratasys’ leadership in polymers.

Barriers inhibiting adoption today include high upfront capital costs associated with 3D printing equipment and materials, as well as lack of reimbursement and insurance coverage. Many smaller dental practices may find it unfeasible to bring the technology in-house. Regardless, larger labs and hospital networks continue embracing the 3D printing approach.

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As dental 3D printing becomes more economical and part of mainstream care, markets will likely continue expanding at a double-digit pace. With so much room for penetration globally, investors and businesses are keen to capitalize early as the industry experiences consolidation and disruption over the years ahead. Plastics and metals innovation presents growth runways too. By lowering financial and skills barriers, this manufacturing method aims to revolutionize dentistry.