Published on December 12-11-19

THE FUTURE OF DENTISTRY IN EUROPE: Evolutionary dynamics of the dental industry and new professional figures

Future of Dental Sector

The European dentistry sector is undergoing profound changes: in this ever-evolving market, supply must keep up with the reorganisation of demand and the development of new paradigms, despite differences from one country to another, mainly due to legislative issues and dental welfare procedures.

These dynamics are driven by two main factors:


The first factor is demand, which is characterised by a progressive increase in the number of patients and treatments. While the “average medical charge per patient” is gradually decreasing, since the combination of services is changing and is now more focused on prevention, the overall business outlook is very positive compared to other sectors. In fact, demand is driven by highly favourable performance and sector trends:

     • The population is ageing and systemic diseases have an impact on chronic dental diseases (in particular periodontitis), which represent a significant growth area for the sector

     • Strong focus on aesthetics and the broader concept of well-being, especially for the wealthiest segments of the population (restorative and orthodontic field)



The second factor is the strong need to revise the business model of operators (dental practices), which are often structured as a singlepractitioner facility or with a few partners, but with significant opportunities for development, working along two lines: greater commercial effectiveness and better management efficiency.

Moreover, the system is characterised by greater competition between dental practices than in the past, by the participation of competitors with a more marketing-oriented approach, and by the progressive development of organised dentistry with leading reference brands.

From a more qualitative point of view, the evolution of demand is also not immune to change and shows a new profile of well-informed and demanding patients who are increasingly stimulated by marketing and communication activities, focus more on the quality of services and have a more negotiation-based approach than in the past.

New management strategies, consumption habits, a changed competitive scenario, and the relationship between dental practices and patients are themain factors that are radically changing the dentistry industry.


But how do we react to this change? 

First of all, a dentist who owns a dental practice needs to understand and accept the phenomena described, as well as the fact that hypercompetitiveness and change in demand are external factors that cannot be changed and, in relation to which, the only thing that matters is the ability to react.