February 22, 2010
The Asia Pacific Region leads in adoption of immediate functional loading but lags the U.S. and Europe in guided surgery use, according to Millennium Research Group’s 2009 Global Dental Implant report series.
Nearly 20% of dental implants placed in the Asia Pacific region in 2008 utilized immediate functional loading. This percentage is expected to exceed 25% by 2013.
However, less than 5% of dental implants placed in 2008 in the Asia Pacific region took advantage of guided surgery software, and less than 3% were placed under the guidance of a drilling template.
A comparison across the US, Europe and select Asia Pacific countries (Australia, Japan, and South Korea) shows that the percent of dental implants placed with the help of a guided surgery system in both the US and Europe was more than double that of the Asia Pacific market.
At first glance, these trends appear contradictory, because the use of 3-D visualizations and drilling templates is purported to facilitate immediate functional loading by allowing for the production of a customized provisional prosthesis. These aids also minimize risk by revealing anatomical concerns that could cause surgical complications, such as bone voids and divergent roots of adjacent teeth.
However, practitioner adoption of guided surgery technology in the Asia Pacific region is primarily limited not by physician hesitancy, but by stringent product approval regulations. Of the guided surgery systems available globally in 2009, only a small number were approved for use in Australia, Japan, and South Korea. This has severely hindered practitioner adoption of these systems.
If more guided surgery systems become available in the Asia Pacific region, more dentists placing implants under the immediate functional loading protocol will be willing to incorporate these systems into their practices to increase the ease and accuracy of the treatment, and the reliability of the outcome.
As of 2009, however, Japan was the only country wherein product approval regulations showed promise of becoming more accommodating to medical device entry. In 2008, the Japanese government commenced a five-year initiative to reduce the lengthy application review time for new devices.
Nadia Oviedo is an Analyst in the Dental and Aesthetics division of Millennium Research Group (MRG), Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Her competitive analyses have served to inform the results of MRG’s Global Competitor Insights for Dental Implants report for 2009 and MRG’s Perception Pulse projects, which assess the dynamics of customer loyalty behavior in the dental space. Her understanding of dental implant market dynamics has greatly contributed to the evolution of MRG’s dental implants report methodology and segmentation to suit ongoing changes in the needs of industry participants.
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