Inventions from the field of health research are mostly protected by patents. The main objective of this study is to identify the research and development trends of dental innovations for children, with a special focus on the inventions for dental caries in primary teeth and early childhood caries (ECC) by performing a patent landscape analysis on a global scale with special attention to the role of European countries in patenting activities. A patent landscape analysis is a tool used to identify trends in different areas of innovations. Patents and patent applications were extracted from Orbit Intelligence. The keyword based search process was refined by manual selection and grouped into prevention, treatment and diagnosis categories. The absolute number and legal status of patent families, priority years, priority countries, and assignees were examined. The total number of patents of dental caries in primary teeth was 61. According to the legal status of the patents, 27% are granted, 19% pending and 54% are dead. The earliest patent is from 1931 and the most recent is from 2018. Regarding the field of inventions, 37 patents were identified as prevention, 16 patents were treatment and 8 were diagnostics related. China holds the most patents. The huge burden of dental caries in primary teeth is poorly represented in global research and development. Additionally, inventions in dental caries of the primary dentition from the European Union lagged far behind China and the US, highlighting our insufficient research initiatives and programs.
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