Belgium is a small country, but it enjoys a very high standard of living and widespread access to medical and dental care. Almost all of the roughly 10.5 million inhabitants are entitled to treatment by the 8350 practicing dentists thanks to the social security system. The majority of all medical supplies, including dental equipment and supplies, is imported. Germany is the largest exporter, with other EU countries taking the rest of the market. U.S. companies, however, are known for having the newest technology and for adhering to high quality standards. Accordingly, there are opportunities for U.S. producers to expand their market share in the future.
In 2009, the market for dental products was estimated at $73 million. The market for drills, chairs and X-ray equipment was estimated at $10 million, while that for dental instruments and supplies was estimated at $63 million
Sub-Sector Best Prospects
In Belgium, aesthetic dentistry is a booming business, making ceramics a good export prospect in this niche market. Bleaching is very popular in Belgium. In the past, bleaching was performed by dentists only. With the current “wellness/feel good” trends, the industry is now selling user-friendly bleaching kits in supermarkets and pharmacies. Other consumer products include special whitening toothpaste, disinfection products, electric toothbrushes and mouthwash.
Belgium has 100 dental-technical laboratories, which provide technical assistance to dentists. The orthosis-prosthesis market is also booming due to Belgium’s aging population, and the aesthetic trend. Key prospects: dental fittings, implants, ceramics, composites, bone level implants, orthosis and prostheses, laser equipment, X-ray equipment, general dental instruments and appliances.
Read the complete commercial guide to Doing Business in Belgium