Dental 3D Printing: How Does It Impact The Dental Industry?

Courtesy of Sculpteo.com, posted By Lucie Gaget on Dec 18, 2017

There is obviously a growing use of 3D printing in the medical industry. Indeed, it can be used to create tools, prosthesis, dental implants, and so on. Soon, it will even be used for bioprinting, in order to 3D print tissue-like structures. But in this blogpost, we are going to focus on the evolution of 3D printing in the dental sector. Indeed, the impact of 3D printing in the dental industry is quite important and this sector is actually making the most of the additive manufacturing technology. At EnvisionTEC, a 3D printer manufacturer, the sales of 3D printers for dentistry increased of 75% from 2015 to 2016. This is the proof that it is evolving quickly and that the use of this printing technology is relevant for this sector.

It’s now possible for professionals of the dental sector to do some oral scanning and CAD design by themselves. Then, they can 3D print with their own desktop 3D printer or with an online 3D printing service. Dental businesses are progressing, and new technologies such as 3D printers and 3D scanners dedicated to dental work are developed. Dental laboratories are more and more using it to develop new working methods, and to create many devices like 3D printed braces for a faster teeth alignment or 3D printed implants.

3d-printed-aligners

3D Printed Aligners Produced by a Student, Amos Dudley

3D printing and mass customization: a revolution in the dental industry

Additive manufacturing is the perfect solution to get customized items, for all sectors. But it becomes even more relevant when it comes to the medical sector, as it allows great realizations such as prosthesis.

In the healthcare field, some solutions have to be adapted to the patients. Typically, prosthesis or implants have to match with the patient’s morphology. And it is also particularly true for dentistry, because everybody has his own dentition, all patients’ mouths are different.  It is now possible to get an accurate 3D model of the patient’s dentition, that will lead to 3D dental restoration, with solutions totally adapted to the patient.   

Dental 3D printing is the key of modern dentistry, as it is really helpful for dental labs. Digital dentistry is wide-spreading quite fast in the industry for many reasons. Like we said, it is an easy way to get customized items. Moreover, it is a cost-effective and time-saving method. For example, if your 3D printed device doesn’t fit, you just have to modify your 3D design. You don’t have to redo the whole process as you would have with injection molding!

Let’s see how this technology is changing the working methods of the dentistry sector.

How can 3D printing help dental professionals?

Benefits of 3D printing are numerous and this method can definitely help any medical professional to produce adapted medical devices. Here are a few examples of how 3D printing can help to improve the dentists, orthodontists and prosthetists daily work:

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