Dentistry around the Globe: What We Learned at IDS from Infodent
Back in March, the Richmond Dental team attended the IDS 2019 conference in Cologne, Germany. IDS is one of the largest gatherings of the dental community worldwide, as dental professionals from Germany, Europe, and around the globe convene for networking, education, and exposure to new products and technologies affecting the dental industry.
As part of the IDS value offering, the Italian dental trade publisher, Infodent, releases research to help show attendees develop a better understanding of the business of dentistry. Our team was especially pleased to hear information related to several key markets where we do business, as given to us during Infodent’s special show edition of its intelligent Inews publication.
The following analysis helped us with context and perspective when considering our business in the USA and smaller markets. Each of the countries below boasts a sizeable dental industry.
Let’s start with the United States, one of the world’s largest markets for oral care. With a population of over 325 million, the US has more than 196,000 registered dentists. That’s one dentist for every 1,658 people. About one-third of the country’s dentist population is comprised of women. We are the highest-cost market, which should come as no surprise when considering overall healthcare costs across the country. The US currently spends nearly 18 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on healthcare.
More than 13 percent of Americans reported neglecting needs for oral care in the last year due to cost, with Medicaid recipients, the working poor, and underserved minorities among those with the most difficulty accessing care.
A sizeable nation of more than 207 million, Brazil is a global force in the dental industry. The nation currently spends 9 percent of GDP on healthcare, and citizens see a veritable army of dental professionals. Registered dentists alone number more than 290,000---there’s a dentist for every 713 people. While considered an emerging market in many other aspects of healthcare, it’s safe to say that the Brazilian dental market is quite advanced.
The Brazilian market still has much potential for growth through its inclusion in the public health system, as that system currently only reaches about 40 percent of the population.
A wealthy nation of 127 million, Japan is another very advanced dental market. The Japanese people spend 10 percent of GDP on healthcare, and there are 104,000 registered dentists serving the public with oral care. While not as high as the Brazilian dentist population, the Japanese per capita number of dentists is still higher than that of the United States, coming in at 1 dentist for every 1221 people. Slightly under one-quarter of all Japanese dentists are women.
Japan’s national health system covers most restorative, prosthetic, and oral surgery treatments.
The home of the IDS show is a large, advanced market as well. With 83 million people, Germany spends more than 11 percent of its GDP on healthcare, making it the highest-cost market outside of the United States. With 71,500 registered dentists, there’s a dentist for every 1,160 Germans.
Germany is the third-largest market worldwide for healthcare innovation (behind only the USA and Japan), dominating the European market in areas like diagnostic imaging, dental products, and optical technologies.
The UK, as in overall healthcare, is quite advanced with regard to dental care. A nation of 66 million, the UK has about 39,000 registered dentists, with a ratio of per capita dentists similar to that of the USA, at 1:1681. A leader in women in dentistry, nearly half (45 percent) of all UK dentists are women.
While entitled to many basic and advanced oral care services through its National Health System, 90 percent of the UK population lacks access to fluoridated water, thus compounding concerns around oral health.
The Italian dental market is interesting. For a mid-sized country of just over 60 million people, the Italians invest nearly 10 percent of GDP in healthcare. With nearly 61,000 registered dentists, Italy has one of the lower dentists to people ratios at one dentist for every 998 people. Italy is also a leader in women in dentistry, as more than one-third of Italian dentists are women.
Oral care is within the purview of the private sector in Italy, as the National Health System covers between five and seven percent of all needed dental care services.
Our final mid-sized country, Spain has a population of 46.5 million. With just over 33,000 dentists, Spain’s dentists per capita measure is one dentist for every 1,400 people. The country spends a little over nine percent of GDP on healthcare.
While Spain, like many of the countries around the world, boasts a large national health system, dental, psychiatric, and cosmetic procedures are excluded. Thus, private providers deliver virtually all oral care services in the country.
Finally, let’s get further context on the global dental market by leaving Europe and looking at a small nation, Israel. This tiny nation of 8.7 million people is a lower-cost market, as Israel spends about 7.4 percent of GDP on healthcare. However, there is a sizeable community of dentists at 9,000. The country has one of the higher ratios of the better ratios of dentists per capita at one for every 966 people.
Israel, with a population just smaller than the US state of North Carolina, boasts two dental schools, located in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv.
We are grateful to the teams at IDS and Infodent for their continuing commitment to educate the global dental community and manufacturers like Richmond Dental and Medical. This information will help companies like ours offer targeted solutions to help improve patient care and continue to address new dental care needs around the world.