The German Dental Industry is an important, special, and independent part of the world healthcare market that can be viewed as a major growth market both in the short and long term. Member companies of the German Dental Industry’s Association (VDDI) achieved total revenues for 2007 of almost 3.8 billion Euros. This is a growth of 7.4% compared with 2006. More than 2.1 billion Euros were earned on international markets, an increase of 9%. The worldwide dental market is estimated by experts to be a 15 billion Dollar business (2006) with a yearly growth rate of five to six per cent. Growth stimulants are, among others, the ageing world population, an increase in interest in aesthetic dentistry, the longevity of teeth, and increasing standard of living in the rapidly developing emerging markets.
The German Domestic Market
The German healthcare industry is varied with great growth potential. It currently employs more than 4.6 million people in 800 healthcare professions. The healthcare industry, with its first and second healthcare market, will be a strong driving force within the German economy in the years to come. According to the Federal Statistical Office’s latest information (DESTATIS, May 2008) the healthcare industry’s annual turnover for 2006 totaled 245 billion Euros. This represents an increase of 5.7 billion Euros or 2.4% from the previous year. Health expenditure thus reaches 10.6% of the gross domestic product or 2970 Euro per capita (2005: 2.900 Euros).
Healthcare’s largest supporting organization is compulsory health insurance with 139.8 billion Euros expenditure in 2006. Private households and private organizations without financial reward totaled 33.3 billion Euros in health expenditure whilst private health insurance paid 22.5 billion Euros for healthcare. Outpatient healthcare organizations have always played an important role in Germany. Almost half the total expenditure for 2006 was accounted for by these organizations (118.6 billion Euros or 48.4%).
Looking at this volume of spending, the most significant outpatient organizations were medical practices (36.4 billion Euros), pharmacies (34.7 billion Euros), and dental practices (15.8 billion Euros). The current number of employees in the dental market, that is, in dental practices, dental laboratories, dental depots, and the dental industry, totals at least 300,000 workers.
The German Dental Industry in Figures
In 2007, the German Dental Industry Association’s 200 members employed both at home and abroad almost 17,900 workers. This is an increase since 2006 of 2.5%. The increase is mainly because of the development in overseas production – an increase of almost 4.5% was seen here. Member companies of VDDI achieved total revenues for 2007 of almost 3.8 billion Euros. This is a growth of 7.4% compared with 2006. More than 2.1 billion Euros were earned on international markets, an increase of 9%.
Members’ expectations for export business in the current year 2008 are similarly positive: 73% of all VDDI members predict an increase in sales; almost a quarter expect sales comparable to the previous year. Only 3% of the members predict a decrease in export sales for 2008. The results from 2007 prove the export strength trend will further stabilize the industry and could even be expanded. Domestic sales increased by 1.6 billion Euros, an increase of 5% compared with 2006. The domestic market, so important to VDDI, has by no means dropped in significance. On the contrary: The remaining perceptible decline in domestic sales resulting from the 2005 Healthcare Reform were partially made up for last year.
The German dental industry’s expectations for domestic sales in 2008 are mostly optimistic and two-thirds of all members polled predict an increase in sales. 35% of all companies asked assume they will be able to at least equal the previous year’s sales figures for Germany this year. In light of the overall good signals received from the economy in general, confidence is appropriate. The unemployment figures continue to fall, consumer sentiment is since troubled but still the German economy remains on a moderate course of growth. This predominantly favourable prevailing mood leads to the conclusion that Dental Industry sales will develop positively.
IDS (International Dental Show) takes place in Cologne every two years and is organised by the GFDI Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Dental-Industrie mbH, the commercial enterprise of the Association of German Dental Manufacturers (VDDI) and is staged by Koelnmesse GmbH, Cologne.
IDS 2019, which came to an end in Cologne on 16 March 2019 after five days, more than fulfilled the high expectations of the international industry. As such, the undisputed leading global trade fair of the dental industry once again underlined its exceptional position. The event was able to replicate the very good results of the previous event and at the same time realise the ambitious goals for more internationality and higher quality in the offer and demand. The outcome of the trade fair consequently led to satisfied exhibitors and trade visitors. With 2,327 companies from 64 countries, the number of exhibitors rose once again by good twenty suppliers. They came together with over 160,000 trade visitors from 166 countries. Hence, the overall number of visitors rose by 3.2 percent, the number of foreign trade visitors by 6 percent indeed. At the same time, the exhibition space expanded by over four percent up to 170,000m².
Mark Stephen Pace, Chairman of the Association of the German Dental Manufacturers e.V. VDDI: “The motto “The sportsmanlike fair competition of IDS ” expressed in six words the strengths of this leading trade fair: The comprehensive and internationally unique offer as well as the extraordinary high performance and innovative strength of the industry, combined with the firm intention of all market players to improve continually and seek the success in the direct competition.
Everyone, who wants to be successful in the dental industry, faces the Performance comparison in Cologne. It is thus no surprise that the level of internationality of IDS has in the meantime taken on huge dimensions.” And Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse, added: “IDS is a trade fair event in a class of its own and always sets new benchmarks. It manages to surpass the already excellent result of the previous event every time again and again. The visitors and exhibitors are impressed by IDS, supply and demand are only provided in this scope, in this quality and with this level of internationality here in Cologne. IDS is the undisputed leading global trade fair for the dental industry.”
The dental world does business at IDS
The official figures confirm the excellent level of internationality at IDS: 73 percent of the exhibitors from 64 countries came from abroad, as well as 62 percent of the
visitors from 166 countries – from Argentina, Brazil and Chile, to Japan, Korea, Egypt and South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, the whole of Europe through to the USA and Canada. The number of countries of origin thus increased once again by
6 percent. IDS 2019 recorded significant growth in the number of visitors from Asia (+23.1 percent), Eastern Europe (+19.6 percent), Africa (+17 percent), Central and South America (+14.6 percent) and North America (+5.3 percent).
However, not only the level of internationality and quantity of the visitors was particularly praised by the exhibitors of IDS 2019. At many exhibition stands one heard that IDS above all convinced with the high quality of its visitors. An independent survey confirms this impression: In this way, over 80 percent of the visitors at this year’s IDS are involved in procurement decisions, indeed 32 percent of them decisively. The decision-making competence among the foreign visitors is even higher – over 49 percent stated that they are autonomously responsible for the procurement decisions. At the stands one reported that all of the occupational groups of the industry from all over the globe were present. According to the survey, the largest groups came from the dental practices, dental laboratories,
dental trade and from the dental industry, but schools and universities were also strongly represented. Almost 30 percent of the respondents are either board members, company or plant managers.
Almost 80 percent of the visitors were satisfied or very satisfied with the range of exhibition offerings. Good 93 percent said that they would recommend a good business acquaintance to visit IDS. And 70 percent of the respondents are already planning to visit the next IDS in 2021. Dr. Markus Heibach, CEO of the VDDI, was also correspondingly pleased when the trade fair came to a close:
“The high level of satisfaction of our trade visitors and exhibitors is for us the impressive confirmation of our efforts to make our guests’ stay as pleasant and successful as possible by offering them a cosmopolitan, hospitable and perfect
High interest in innovations
The radiance of IDS makes it the ideal business platform especially for new companies on the dental market, which want to establish themselves with highquality innovations. Steve Plakotaris, CEO & Managing Director of the Australian start-up, Dr. Mark’s HyGenie, confirmed this: “As a world first oral hygiene innovation, with global brand potential, it made perfect sense to debut our company and removable oral appliance hygiene range at the world’s biggest and busiest dental industry showcase. Despite being a small Australian start-up, we have felt right at home at IDS and the results have exceeded all our expectations. Contacts, connections and new friends are being made every hour of every day. We look forward to booking our place at IDS2021”.
The trade and the users were extremely interested in innovative products and technologies. The focus of IDS 2019 lay on products and systems for improved digital workflows and the additive production, new prophylaxis formulas and filling materials, innovative intraoral scanners and implant designs as well as flexible workflows for the management of the laboratory. (Please also see the expert comments on IDS 2019 on this subject)
BZÄK and VDZI draw a positive balance:
“The International Dental Show (IDS) is a phenomenon: The atmosphere is so international, thirsty for knowledge and open that it is was simply very inspiring once again this year. The digitalisation can improve the workflows of the practices,
but shouldn’t be implemented noncritically or too hastily,” said Dr. Peter Engel, President of the German Dental Association (BZÄK) and underlined the significance of the dental industry as a job driver in the health sector. Dentistry is a significant
employer and economic factor.” A local dentist employs between four and five employees on average. Trained dental employees are the heart of every dental practice – without them a practice wouldn’t work. Good skilled dental employees therefore require recognition as well as inspiration and know-how.”
The same also applies for dental technicians. Dominik Kruchen, President of the German Dental Technicians Guild, summed up as follows: “The International Dental Show demonstrated at what speed the digital dental world is developing. One has to
weigh up the risks, recognise one’s own chances and take investment decisions based on good judgement.” In the discussion about the role of the dental laboratories, master dental technicians and their teams are irreplaceable as experts in the
provision of dental restoration, Kruchen added. In close exchange with the dentists, their expertise, for example regarding the selection and implementation of different
materials, ensures an individual offer for patients. “Well-trained young professionals are important for a strong dental technician trade. The highly trained young dental
technology apprentices once again impressively demonstrated their skills at this year’s IDS in the scope of the Gysi Prize Competition.”
Social commitment of the dentists
Following tradition, the BZÄK Conference of the Aid Organisations also took place at IDS. It is a source of ideas for dental aid projects and for the personal exchange. Around 60 dental aid projects and organisations are currently represented among the BZÄK network, the essential aim of which is to provide mutual assistance and an exchange. The projects provide aid and support in manifold ways at home as well as worldwide: In Germany many dentists are very committed to helping people who are socially deprived or in emergency situations in their free time. They treat People without health insurance or offer the aid organisation support in the form of donations in kind or money. Many dental aid organisations also assert themselves for international projects and help in acute humanitarian situations or after natural catastrophes, they provide assistance in crisis regions or offer the patients dental treatment locally.
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