The Amazing and Exciting Prospects of 3-D Printing and Dentistry

3-D printing is hyped as an ultimate manufacturing solution that will rock the whole industry. Although 3-D manufacturing has come far from being bulky and costly printers to sleek and easy-to-use printers, it still has a long road to travel. However, for dentists and the dental industry, the future is now. This is because many dentists and dental technicians have found creative uses of 3-D printing. Therefore, without much ado, let’s discuss current practices of 3-D technology.

Why is 3-D printing so cool?

Several manufacturing techniques, such as cutting, milling, or carving, are subtractive processes; however, 3-D printing is the first additive process. An additive process has numerous advantages, with little material wastage being the key one.

Planning For Dental Surgeries.

Sometimes dental surgeries are quite complex, and it would help if dentists knew what’s waiting for them. Hence, in such scenarios, 3-D interface and CAD (computer-aided designs) provide an invaluable edge. Using intra-oral scanners and other modeling tools, the dentist can develop a 3-D image of the patient’s anatomy. Now, using the 3-D picture, a dentist can prepare for his surgery and plan out the specifics.

For example, a patient wants to remove a giant ugly tumor covering their jaws and cheek. Here is what a tech-savvy dentist most probably would do:

  • Using scanners and other fancy stuff, the dentist will prepare a 3-D digital imprint of the tumor.
  • Now using the CAD, the dentist will study the tumor and site of surgery carefully.
  • After careful inspection, the dentist will devise a surgery plan.

Through the use of CAD, surgeries will be more predictable and with higher success rates.

Dental Implants:

Nobody can deny the importance of dental implants. These are the ” smile saver” as they help to complete your perfect smile. There is a lot of hard work involved in preparing the ideal implants for you. However, 3-D printing and CAD have made life a bit easier. As a person’s dental anatomy is as unique as the person themselves, an implant should have the exact cut out for a comfortable fit.

Through CAD, a dentist can precisely capture the unique dental topography. However, implant manufacturing is yet a mixed process using both new and old technology. Where a 3-D printer can capture the implant’s specifics, milling is still required for further refining. Overall, the process is now easier, less intensive, and more accurate with 3-D printers.

Application in Orthodontics:

Another central involvement of 3-D printing in dentistry is the aligner designing and building. Using CAD, your dentist will design a 3-D model of your teeth. The model will allow the dentist to study irregularities deeply and prepare an appropriate aligner.

Conclusion:

With the use of 3-D printing in dentistry, life has become easier for dentists and their patients. From well-planned surgeries to better aligner designs, 3-D technology has a lot to offer. Therefore, it’s the aspect to look up to and how it will change dentistry. Are you interested in more tech-savvy articles? Head out to our blog section. For further dental inquiries, call us at 281-934-1010.