"A full set of implanted teeth could cost as much as a brand-new BMW sedan," 21jingji.com reported on Saturday, a sign of Chinese people's surging demand for oral treatment - and a market with huge profits.
It's no longer enough for Chinese people to have their teeth professionally cleaned or get fillings - now they also want the entire spectrum of dental care, including whitening, orthodontics and tooth implants.
Despite the huge demand, there are not many competitive Chinese market players, so international giants are making huge profits, and the cost of implants has stayed high.
In 2017, the domestic market for dental implants reached 15.68 billion yuan ($2.33 billion), of which at least 14.112 billion yuan entered the pockets of foreign giants, 21jingji.com reported.
Some have called for increasing research and development of domestic dental implants to lower costs for customers. But industry insiders noted it would take five to eight years from the research and development stage through clinical tests to develop domestic implants, and it would also take years before the process was profitable.