Dental Tribune Asia Pacific
The Straumann Group is looking to expand its business in China. (Photograph: Straumann Group)

Straumann Group set to enter clear aligner market in China

By Dental Tribune International
January 23, 2019

BASEL, Switzerland/TIANJIN, China: The Straumann Group will be partnering with Tianjin ZhengLi Technology, whose clear aligner system has regulatory approval in China. The two companies will be developing enhanced solutions in aesthetic dentistry, and the collaboration is intended to accelerate Straumann’s plan to enter the world’s second-largest market for orthodontic clear aligners.

The Straumann Group has received exclusive distribution rights in China for its aligners and will be leveraging its marketing, training, distribution and service capabilities to penetrate the Chinese market, the company said. Patrick Loh, head of sales of the Straumann Group’s Asia Pacific region, sees an enormous need for orthodontic treatment in China. He believes that ZhengLi Technology will provide the company with solutions that are ready for commercialisation, while its own sales and logistics network, adequate infrastructure, digital solutions and internal expertise will aid entry and expansion into the market.

It is estimated that some 300 million Chinese patients visit dental clinics every year, a figure expected to grow at 13‒15 per cent in the near future, as reported by the Dutch Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The Straumann Group is convinced that, despite its lack of reimbursement, orthodontics is one of the most sought-after treatments, especially in urban and developed areas. Between 2006 and 2016, the percentage of adults with malocclusion and malaligned teeth who received orthodontic treatments rose from 10‒20 per cent to 30 per cent and even 50 per cent in more developed regions. It is increasingly popular among adults and young professionals and is no longer perceived as only suited for teenagers.

Modern clear aligners are considered to have significant advantages over conventional orthodontic treatments, and according to market intelligence and industry data, the clear aligner market is expanding faster in China than anywhere else. In the next five years, it will likely grow by more than 50 per cent. Through its partnership with ZhengLi Technology, Straumann seeks to cater for both moderate and complex cases, which are notably prevalent in China.

Straumann’s dynamic clear aligner business
The Straumann Group entered the clear aligner business in 2017 by acquiring ClearCorrect in the US. With international expansion as a key priority, the company will soon be launching ClearCorrect in Brazil and has recently signed an agreement to supply one of the largest dental service organisations in Spain. Aside from this, the Swiss group has partnered with Dental Monitoring to offer dentists and their patients a smartphone application that is meant to monitor aligner treatment progress without having to visit the practice. The service is expected to launch in China this year.

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