The demand for dental services is huge in a market comprised of 38 million people. According to information from the Ministry of Health, tooth decay affects 98% of Polish society and approximately 9 million people use dental prostheses. At the same time, the popularity of dental implants is increasing. It is estimated that approximately 100,000 implants are inserted annually.
Strong private sector development
The most important trend in the market is the rejection of National Health Fund services in favor of private dental practices. This is due to the fact that the vast majority of standard dental procedures are not covered by the state. Public expenditure on dentistry in the current year amounts to approx. 0.5 billion Swiss francs. This is only a quarter of the amount that Poles spend on dental treatment each year out of their own pockets.
In total there are about 36,000 dentists in Poland. The number of practices signing annual contracts with the National Health Fund is currently around 4,000, falling by an average of around 100 per year. At the same time, the area of private dental services is developing. The market is consolidating itself and practice chains are emerging that can offer complex treatments, such as Medicover Stomatologia, Luxmed Stomatologia or Dent a Medical.
In addition, Poland has established itself as an important location for medical tourism since joining the EU. According to PwC, medical tourism in Central and Eastern Europe is growing by about 12-15% annually. Almost 400,000 foreign patients come to Poland every year, many of them Germans, Brits and Scandinavians. A considerable number of them are treated in dental clinics.
Investment in equipment
Dentists can apply for EU funding to modernize their practices. Funds are allocated via regional programs aimed at SMEs. One of the prerequisites is to above all “increase competitiveness by introducing innovative services”. This should make it easier to introduce new technologies and therapies on the Polish market.
The biggest current investment in the field of dentistry is a modern University Center of Dentistry, which is currently under construction in Warsaw. 149 dental units and other equipment will be purchased for the center. The total value of the planned equipment amounts to around three million Swiss francs. The Medical University in Lublin also announced the construction of a new dental center: the new facility is scheduled for completion in 2020, and the center will be equipped with 136 dental units.
Increasing business opportunities for foreign providers
Foreign trade figures indicate that business opportunities on the market for are increasing for foreign suppliers. According to Statistics Poland, the value of imported dental drills grew by over 40% to some 11 million Swiss francs in 2017, a third of which were devices from Germany. Imports of the category “Instruments and devices used in dentistry, excluding drills, discs and brushes for use in dental drills” amounted to 54 million Swiss francs, of which 6 million francs came from Switzerland. This makes Switzerland the second largest supplier in this product group after Germany. The category “Dental materials other than dental prostheses”, which also includes implants, recorded a 30% increase in imports to 27 million Swiss francs. These items are mainly procured from the USA and Germany. Imports of this product group from Switzerland, amounting to two million Swiss francs, rose by a quarter in 2017.
Promotion of Swiss Made dental solutions
The most important dental event in Poland is the KRAKDENT fair, which is held each spring in Krakow. Nearly 450 exhibitors, one third of them from abroad, presented their solutions to a total of 16,000 visitors in 2018. Switzerland was present with 11 brands, most of which were represented by local sales partners.
Do you have more questions about the Polish dental market or would you like to benefit from the latest developments? Please register for a non-binding meeting with our consultant for Eastern Europe, Katalin Dreher-Hajnal.