The total market for dental equipment, instruments, and materials in 2011 is estimated to be $8.3 million. Imports for the same period are estimated at $7.31 million. The Ecuadorian dental market is primarily served by imports. The U.S. dominates the import market with 36 percent market share in 2011 ($2.63 million).
The main competitors are: China (24%); Brazil (20%); Colombia (5%); Peru (4%); Pakistan (4%); Switzerland (3%); Germany (2%); and Argentina (2%). Brazil mainly sells units and basic biomaterials. China offers dental units, ovens, mortars, alcohol lamps, gas welding torches, and rubber cups. Colombia is strong in anesthetics, acrylics, artificial teeth, hemostats, and cement. Pakistan is strong when it comes to instruments. Peru also sells instruments. Switzerland competes in the area of biomaterials. Germany is the dominant supplier for anesthetics, and Argentina supplies instruments, biomaterials, and equipment. Informal imports, mainly for biomaterials and hand instruments, account for 20 percent of the import market share. The informal market is split between the U.S. and Colombia.
Domestic manufacture includes: dental units, sterilizers, compressors, suction pumps, and lamps. Local manufacturers import components such as valves, hoses, foot controls, and motors. They are interested in potential joint ventures with U.S. manufacturers. Exports of dental equipment from Ecuador are negligible.
Best prospects are: hand instruments, biomaterials, LED lamps, therapeutic lasers, RVG’s (radio viseographs), and intra-oral cameras. An important niche market is developing for spare parts for dental units, compressors, and hand equipment. At the present time, the U.S. is virtually the sole provider of spare parts and is well regarded.