DT News - MEA - Align Technology reveals white paper on growing patient orthodontic care in the UAE and KSA

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Align Technology reveals white paper on growing patient orthodontic care in the UAE and KSA

Align Technology, Inc. - Middle East

• Peer-to-peer referral and affordability are the top two factors that parents consider when deciding on their child’s orthodontic appliance: clear aligners or traditional braces. (Image: Align Technology)
Align Technology

Align Technology

Mon. 19 February 2024


Align Technology, a leading global medical device company that designs, manufactures, and sells the Invisalign system of clear aligners, iTero intraoral scanners, and exocad CAD/CAM software for digital orthodontics and restorative dentistry, has revealed important insights on the shifting landscape of dental care in the Middle East, in a white paper focused on the treatment of teens with clear aligners.

Titled ‘Insights into the growing patient dental journey and the growing patient dental market in KSA & UAE’, the white paper illuminates key trends influencing patient preferences, the crucial role of orthodontists, and the expanding market for clear aligner treatment among growing patients.

In the wake of an evolving digital dental industry, the market for clear aligners is in line with global growth projections. Clear aligner market, valued at US$ 3.96 billion in 2022 globally, is anticipated to surge to US$ 57.05 billion by 20321. This mirrors the Middle East’s trajectory, where the dental care market is set to reach US$ 2.54 billion by 2030 from the current US$ 1.44 billion (2022)2.

The selection of the most suitable orthodontic treatment for a growing patient is a complex decision that involves both the dental professional and the patient’s parent – and often the patient too. In addition to dental professional recommendations about treatment options, the white paper describes that the two strongest determining factors for a parent in deciding on their child’s orthodontic appliance (clear aligner or traditional braces) were peer-to-peer referral and affordability.

"We are witnessing a transformative era in orthodontic care, with shift towards clear aligner treatment, coupled with an increased focus on patient-centric care," said Angelo Maura, Align Technology General Manager Middle East. "The research findings underscore the pivotal role of dental professionals in guiding parents through informed decision-making for their growing children's orthodontic care. In line with this, the ultimate aim of our white paper is to create an opportunity for discussion and introspection that will give orthodontists valuable insights and can be used to aid them in leading patient and potential patient conversations.”

The Align Technology-commissioned white paper’s findings are based on quantitative and qualitative research, conducted by YouGov, a consumer survey company and the Centre for Advanced Professional Practices (CAPP). The research is split into two key segments: parents of patients and dental professionals (orthodontists and other dentists). The insights derived from these two groups subsequently formulated the whitepaper’s key findings.

Orthodontists and dentists in UAE and KSA shared insights into the scale of the market and the opportunity for a multitude of treatment options. With a predominant presence in private sector clinics (90.5%), these professionals indicate a clear focus on the teenage demographic, constituting a significant portion of their patient base—63.3% (aged 13-19) in KSA and 58.3% in the UAE. The fact that both KSA and UAE have a young population of under 19 years (comprising 39% in KSA and 30% in UAE) further supports this finding.

While the market for growing patients is vast, the choice of treatment is not solely reliant on the dental issue, but also depends on the child's age, readiness, as well as personal preferences of the patient or their parents. Consequently, it is incumbent upon orthodontists to offer a comprehensive consultation that empowers parents with a clear understanding of the available treatment options, the associated costs and benefits, and other indicators, such as patient’s lifestyle and treatment compliance.

Dr Abdelhakim A. El-Gheriani, American Board Certified Orthodontist, Diamond Invisalign Provider, and Consultant Orthodontist at The SameDay Dental Clinic, Dubai, said: “Each patient is unique, and their orthodontic journey should reflect that individuality. As an orthodontist, I prioritise personalised treatment plans that suit the specific needs of each growing patient. Clear aligners represent a transformative leap in orthodontic care, offering tailored solutions that not only address malocclusions effectively but also align with the lifestyle and preferences of teens. In essence, clear aligners mark the future of orthodontic treatment, providing a blend of precision, comfort, and aesthetics that traditional braces can’t match.”

The study revealed that while a substantial percentage of parents prefer clear aligners, a notable proportion (45% in KSA and 47% in the UAE) still favor metallic braces, largely due to financial considerations.

"The affordability factor remains a crucial determinant in the choice between traditional braces and clear aligners, influencing treatment decisions for families," added Angelo Maura. "Understanding these concerns allows dental professionals to address them head-first and hopefully, offer tailored guidance that allows patients to move forward with clear aligner treatment."

The research also emphasises the importance of compliance in orthodontic treatment success with clear aligners. With the recommended wear time of 20-22 hours per day, parental concerns over their child's responsibility and adherence to treatment plans naturally emerge as important considerations, especially vs. fixed braces.

Align Technology's research further signals a shift in decision-making dynamics, indicating that parental referrals and recommendations also significantly influence the choice of orthodontists and treatment options. With 72% of respondents in the UAE and 62% in KSA, relying on referrals and recommendations from peers, this underscores the weight of social validation in the decision-making process.

As the landscape of orthodontic care continues to evolve, Align Technology remains committed to fostering innovation and comprehensive strategies. By championing patient-centric approaches and technological advancements, Align Technology aims to enhance the orthodontic experience for teenage patients, enabling them to achieve radiant smiles and brighter futures.

To download the full white paper, visit: https://align.digitalplatform.me/align-teen-page


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