3D Printer: Its Capabilities and Benefits in Dentistry
The 3D printing concept has taken the world by storm. Its potential applications are limitless with promising advances in the dental and medical fields. Although it is still a new technology, traditional laboratories can go the way of film cameras and typewriters given that it continues to go forward. This is why it has become so common for us today to see a 3D printer being used in different industries, especially in the world if dentistry.
3D Printing: Capabilities in Dentistry
Replace and Repair Damaged Tooth
With the help of the technology, it has become possible to replace a damaged tooth. Dentists can scan the mouth of their patients with the use of a small digital wand. This becomes responsible for creating a 3D image of the mouth, particularly the teeth and gums. This is simply saved in a computer as a file. Then, the CAD software allows dentists to digitally design the tooth and print the finished product with a 3D printer.
Create an Orthodontic Model
Before the rise of 3D technology also includes to have a patient bite down on a gooey and uncomfortable clay so it can harden into a mold. This will be the model for designing a treatment for Invisalign and braces. But today, with this technology, dentists can scan the teeth and design an orthodontic appliance then print the end-result.
Produce Bridges, Crowns, Caps, Dentures, etc.
The same process above can be implemented to print dental implants. The only difference here would be the precise materials that are being used during the printing process.
Construct Surgical Tools
The printer is not only capable of handling dental implants, but it can also print the drill guides that are necessary to complete an entire dental procedure.
3D Printing: Benefits in Dentistry
The dental industry has greatly relied on laboratories for the production of bridges, crowns, as well as other implants for a very long time. But changing to 3D technology can offer them numerous benefits.
Having an additional dental laboratory can be very expensive, especially when implemented in-house. Then you would have to hire skilled employees to produce your dental implants. The cost would also vary depending on the volume of work that needs to be done. But spending one time for a printer which may include a starting supply of materials can be so much lower.
Patients can Save Money
The expensive cost of running an additional laboratory is reflected in every patient’s bill. If you use a traditional technology, a single crown can cost a lot. But with this printer, overhead costs can be greatly lowered so dentists can pass some of the savings to their patients.
Accurate and faster Dental Services
Making a model can be very time-consuming. But with 3D printing, you can print multiple appliances at once. At the same time, accuracy is achieved as the printer can convert the digital image into a physical object. This increases production capacity with accurate results.
With all these things that 3D printing technology can do, it wouldn’t be a surprise if we see this technology being used in other industries.