What Is the Role of 3D Printing in Dentistry?
- 18 Feb, 2021
In recent years, we have seen significant improvements in modern dentistry. From clear orthodontic aligners to dental implants, a number of new technologies have emerged to streamline treatment for dental patients. One of the most significant transformations in recent years is the use of 3D printing for a number of different applications. As this advanced technology occupies a growing role in the dental industry, dentists have gained access to more resources to address their patients' needs.
At Smile Dental Supply, we stay up-to-date on the latest trends in dental technology in order to bring you the best products for dental labs and dentistry practices. Here, we review some of the potential applications for 3D printing and the advantages that it can offer.
Tooth Repair and Replacement
3D printing has allowed dental professionals to repair and replace teeth more efficiently. By using a digital wand, dentists can scan a patient's mouth to detect where the faulty tooth is. This produces a 3D image of their mouth with the use of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software. The dentist can then design the new tooth with CAD software and bring it to life via 3D printing. A traditional dental impression of the patient’s teeth can also be taken and used as a basis for a 3D-printed tooth replacement.
Dental Implants & Beyond
Tooth repair only scratches the surface of what 3D printing is capable of. By utilizing this advanced technology, dental professionals can also create dentures, temporary crowns, bridges, caps, and other dental implants. Additionally, 3D printing can be used to create highly accurate surgical guides, which reduces the risk of complications.
With the power of 3D printing, dentists can design braces or clear aligners so that they perfectly fit the patient's mouth. While traditional putty molds can still be used to create impressions, dentists also have the option with new technologies to scan their patients' teeth with a digital wand and use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) to form a custom-tailored orthodontic appliance. This helps make life easier for both the dentist and patient during every step of the process.
Faster and More Accurate Results
Overall, 3D printing can be a more cost-effective and accurate option than traditional methods for certain applications. Using a 3D printer has a much shorter production timeframe than many traditional methods for some dental appliances. 3D printers are also highly accurate thanks to detailed electronic imaging. These benefits may make 3D printing a more reliable option in the future for professionals in the dental industry.
The role of 3D printing in dentistry is only continuing to expand. By making the most of this new technology, dentists can treat their patients more quickly and with greater accuracy, improving the patient experience and long-term results.