The dental bone graft substitute and other biomaterials market includes dental bone graft substitutes (DBGS), dental growth factors, and dental barrier membranes. The DBGS market is relatively stable with an increasing shift towards allografts. Already representing the largest segment of total DBGS materials, the allograft market is expected to grow at a 5.8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) by 2023.
The most innovative market in dental biomaterials is dental growth factor technology. However, these products have been slow to make strides on the market due to their relatively high price point. As such, growth within the DBGS and other biomaterials market is predominately stimulated by growth of the dental implant market in the United States.
Dental Growth Factors Continued to be limited by High Associated Costs
In 2005, FDA approved the release of BioMimetic’s GEM 21S, the first growth factor matrix approved for dental use. The product has since gained traction and received CE mark approval to enter the European market in 2012. However, in comparison to the United States, there are far less commercially distributed products in other regions such as Asia and Europe.
Dental growth factor products currently offered in the U.S. market are the GEM 21S, INFUSE, Osteocel, and Emdogain. Over the next several years, a number of additional growth factor combinations are expected to enter the tissue engineering product market. However, the total growth factor market is not expected to experience substantial growth in the United States. The high cost associated with growth factor products is the greatest limiter of market growth. As some growth factor products are cross-indicated for both dental and orthopedic purposes, major price reductions are not justified as these solutions typically generate more revenue from orthopedics. Nonetheless, smaller dose products have been growing in the market, such as the 0.15 ml Emdogain growth factor in comparison to the traditional 0.7 ml vials. As new and more affordable products are introduced into the market and as pricing pressures emerge, dental growth factor use will become more common.
Growth of the Dental Implant Market is Driving Growth of DBGS and Associated Materials
Growth in the dental implant market in the United States is also stimulating growth of the corresponding market for DBGS and other biomaterials. The dental implant market in the United States will continue to grow rapidly over the next several years. Since bone grafting is performed in preparation for nearly 60% of dental implant procedures, this growth will result in an increased demand for DBGS. Increased demand from procedures associated with dental implants will account for the bulk of DBGS sales volume growth. One of the key market drivers for dental implants is the demand for improved aesthetics, which in turn affects the DBGS market.
The consequent growth of the DBGS market will in turn push the dental barrier membrane market forward. Dental bone grafting procedures often necessitate the use of a barrier membrane to direct the growth of the new bone and gingival tissue. The demonstrated growth of dental bone grafting procedures, driven largely by the dental implant market, will lead to a corresponding long-term increase in the number of membranes used. The barrier membrane market is therefore expected to experience parallel growth, in terms of unit sales, with the dental bone graft substitute market.
Purchasing in Bulk Threatens Potential Market Growth
A common trend across the dental industry is to supplement large scale purchases with complimentary or discounted products. As periodontists and oral surgeons outnumber general practitioners in terms of dentists placing implants in the United States, and as these specialists tend to buy in bulk, this trend is expected to persist in the future. Free units of DBGS materials threaten the market by dragging down the overall market value. As bulk purchases equate to a promotion of total DBGS units being given away for free, the overall growth in the value of the DBGS market is limited.
With regards to growth factor sales, there tends to be a great deal of discounted deals to compensate for the high initial cost. In the past, most dental growth factor distributors reduced prices in an attempt to attract consumers and increase the rate of market penetration. In addition, the fragile distribution channels of Osteohealth prompted the company to endorse discounted deals on their GEM 21S sales, which is almost always sold on discount. The company provides substantial price markdowns on large-scale purchases of GEM 21S.
Long-Standing Market Leader Geistlich Expected to Continue to Lose Market Share to Emerging Competitors
In recent years, the company has lost a notable amount of market share due to the emergence of new competitors on the market which offer relatively inexpensive solutions. Nonetheless, Geistlich continued to lead the total market for dental bone graft substitutes and other biomaterials in 2016.
Its Bio-Oss bovine xenograft product line in the xenograft realm of DBGS is recognized as the gold standard within the xenograft market. While autografts and allografts are more osteoinductive than xenografts, the high quality, guaranteed supply and the proven clinical efficacy of Bio-Oss have allowed Geistlich to capture a large percentage of the bone graft substitute market. However, Geistlich’s overall market share will continue to be challenged over the next several years. ACE Surgical and BioHorizons pose future threats with their xenograft products, with BioHorizons representing a newer player to the market in 2016.
The company also benefits from a strong standing in the dental barrier membrane market, which stems from its popular collagen membrane Bio-Gide product line. This product portfolio consists of Bio-Gide Perio; an extension of the Bio-Gide product that maintains the same biological properties yet is advertised to offer ‘improved handling characteristics for periodontal procedures.