Digital impression is a technology used to create three-dimensional (3D) image of intraoral tissues and teeth. Digital impression standalone scanners are used in intraoral scanning for various dental applications including dentures, bridges, inlays, onlays and orthodontic treatments. Advantages associated with digital impression technology over traditional method of impression are the factors driving the market growth. Digital impression standalone scanners eliminate the tedious and painful process of elastomeric impression used for dental applications. Additionally, digital impression standalone scanners reduce retakes required in dental applications such as restoration, thereby reducing the overall time and increasing productivity.
Digital impression technology offers easy and accurate scanning with minimum efforts for both the dentist and patient. This helps in reducing errors and repeated visits of patients to the dental clinic. Moreover, decreasing costs and development of advanced powder-free intraoral scanners are expected to significantly drive the digital impression standalone scanners market growth. With rising focus on patient comfort and treatment accuracy, dentists are expected to increasingly adopt these scanners. However, high technical expertise and initial investment are few factors constraining the growth of digital impression standalone scanners market in near term.
The market for digital impression standalone scanners is segmented based on technology as confocal microscopic imaging and optical wand technology. The scanners based on optical wand technology dominated the global digital impression standalone scanners market accounting for highest revenue share in 2013. This was mainly due to low cost and small size of these scanners. Moreover, introduction of advanced powder-free scanners based on optical wand technology is contributing to the market growth and the trend is likely to further fuel the growth of the market in near future. Due to these advantages, optical wand technology based intraoral scanners are expected to remain dominant throughout the forecast period. Confocal microscopic imaging technology based intraoral scanners offer powder-free scanning, which enables them to carry out the process without keeping any distance between teeth and scanner. However, due to high costs associated with these scanners, the market for these scanners is witnessing relatively slow growth.
In 2013, Europe held the largest market share and accounted for 39.3% of the global digital impression standalone scanners market. The growth was attributed to the early introduction and high adoption of digital impression standalone scanners in dental applications. This was majorly due to rising focus on elimination of error-prone traditional elastomeric impression techniques. High price of the digital impression standalone scanners is the prime factor for the reluctance toward its adoption by dentist in the Asia Pacific region.
However, with declining prices of standalone scanners, Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing market for digital impression standalone scanners during the forecast period. Japan is among the highest contributors to the digital impression standalone scanners market owing to the aging population and rising concerns regarding dental care. Strong market growth potential from countries such as India, China and South Korea is expected to drive the digital impression standalone scanners market in Asia Pacific during the forecast period.