Is the Future of Dentistry 3D?
Oct 27, 2021
One of the advantages of 3D printing is that the 3D printer can create shapes far more complex than what is possible to create by hand. Because of this, there are many applications for 3D printing across a wide range of industries, including in dentistry. As dentistry continues to be increasingly impacted by digital technologies, 3D printing may also play an important role in the future of dentistry.
What Can Be 3D Printed?
3D printing has a wide variety of applications in dentistry. Dentists can print:
- Temporary crowns
- Temporary bridges
- Dental prostheses
- Removable dentures
- Study models
- Surgical guides
- Permanent restorations
- Occlusal splints
- Metal frameworks
- Diagnostic casts
What 3D Printing Technologies Are Currently Used in Dentistry?
Dentistry is already using the following 3D printing technologies:
- Digital light processing
- Fused deposition modeling
- Selective laser melting
How Can 3D Printing Help Dentists And Their Patients?
3D printing can help to reduce the amount of time a patient is waiting for their dental fixtures. This is especially true if the dentist has an in-house 3D printer and doesn’t have to order an item from somewhere else. Many dental fixtures can be printed within a day, rather than weeks. Plus, with a 3D printer, the dental products can be highly customized to suit each particular patient’s specific needs.
3D Printing Can Save Dentists Time
3D printing can help save dentists a lot of time. A dentist can electronically submit the design for an item like a crown or dentures and the printer can start on the project within minutes. A 3D printer may also be able to print multiple items at once. Plus, the 3D printing process can just happen faster than making something by hand. This means that dentists can reduce the amount of time that a patient is waiting.
3D Printing Can Save Dentists Money
Some dentists can save up to a hundred thousand dollars on the costs of dental lab labor. 3D printing is something that the dentist can do on their own, without having to involve a much more expensive lab. The materials used for 3D printing are less expensive and the printing process can even be done in-house, eliminating the cost of external labor. It also reduces the costs of shipping. 3D printers can cost a lot of money, but the printer can very quickly pay for itself, depending on how much a dentist
3D Printing Can Improve Patient Satisfaction
3D printing can also help improve a dental practice’s patient satisfaction. Patients are happier because the wait is shorter. Plus, they may end up with a product that is more accurate to their needs, much faster, and available at a lower cost than with traditional methods.
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