Economics expert Matthew Patridge, writing for www.moneyweek.com, promises readers that ‘several long-term trends are in place that should make dentistry attractive to investors’ and discusses the opportunity for global developments in previously untapped China and India, too.

Citing new high tech equipment and cosmetic dentistry as two major pulls, he writes: ‘ The tools of the trade are starting to be replaced with ones better suited to the 21st century. Modern gadgets include dental lasers, special drills, and new ways to see inside the mouth.

‘Meanwhile, despite the recession, a white, even smile is increasingly seen as a necessity rather than a luxury, even on this side of the Atlantic. Demand for cosmetic dentistry has grown sharply among the middle-aged and late middle-aged in particular.’

He adds: ‘Dentistry isn’t just about what’s medically necessary. Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance, rather than the health, of teeth. And it’s rapidly growing in popularity…

‘One area experiencing a big surge in interest is tooth whitening, which is now the second-most popular form of dental treatment in Britain… At the higher end of the market, increasing numbers of people are paying to have the procedure carried out professionally, or even to have expensive veneers fitted.’

In the article, he investigates the newer dental trends for invisible aligners, dental implants and stem-cell technology.

Matthew, who has previously written for the The Guardian and The Economist, explains: ‘Other industry experts agree that the Chinese dental market has gigantic potential. Stanley Bergman of dental supply and services company Henry Schein Inc thinks that, at some point, China will “obviously be the largest provider of dental services in the world”.

‘In the shorter term, Bergman believes that total spending will double within the next five year. RnR Market Research is even more optimistic, predicting that it will grow by 20%-30% a year. Infodent International expects the Indian dental market to see double-digit growth, with technology experiencing a particularly rapid demand in growth.’

Investigating how private operators are beginning to develop dentistry in both China and India, he writes: ‘In China, this trend is being dominated by companies with experience running clinics in other countries, such as the Singaporean chain Q&M Dental Group.

'In India, the main impetus is coming from domestic companies with experience of the wider healthcare sector making sideways moves into dentistry. For example, Apollo Hospitals and Trivitron, which makes medical equipment, have created Alliance Dental Care. This company, which already runs clinics in several of India’s largest cities, has announced plans for a major expansion.’

The article also spotlights  ‘stocks to buy now’, mentioning companies such as Biolase, Q&M Dental Group, Henry Schein Inc, Align Technology, Sirona Dental Systems and Neostem.

To read the article in full, you will need to subscribe at www.moneyweek.com.


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