Market Assessment

The concept of the impression-making process in dentistry began in the mid-nineteenth century. While beeswax represents the first impression material, the historical evolution of dental impression materials began with the introduction of dental trays in the early 1800s and the invention of the gutta-percha. During the 20th century, the introduction of elastomeric impression materials offered the advantage of impression accuracy. The concept of impression-making was taken a step further in the 1980s with the development of digital dentistry. French dentist Dr. Francois Duret applied principles of CADCAM for dental impression, thus creating the concept of digital dentistry solutions to enter the market place.

The debate over the future of traditional impression materials has been ongoing since the wide-spread introduction of Intra Oral Scanners and chair-side CADCAM technology into the dental office space. While there are many opinions, a major manufacturer of impression materials was interested in conducting a study among U.S. dentistry professionals to more clearly define the trend of digital dentistry. The manufacturer also sought to develop an understanding of how, when, and where the transformation would occur from traditional impressions to digital dentistry.

The Dental Research Specialists team developed a comprehensive survey for U.S. dentistry professionals. The scope of the questionnaire was to examine present behaviors among dentists who were current Intra Oral Scanner users and dentists that were currently using traditional impression methods. By combining the behaviors and perceptions of the two groups, Dental Research Specialists was able to clearly define the future trajectory of traditional impression materials.

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