Although 3D printers have been around since the 1980s, in recent years the technology has become more and more advanced, serving more purposes. In the past, 3D printers were often huge machines that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and were only used for particular projects that called for them. Today 3D printers can be much less inexpensive, and many are small enough to fit on your desk or counter, roughly the size of a microwave.
This concept of 3D printing, a layer-by-layer approach to creating 3D models, has been around for years. During this time, there have been many advancements in the technique and purpose. One of the most revolutionary transitions we have seen so far is when 3D printing made its way to the medical and dental industries.
In 1999, only 19 years after the invention was created, the concept was being used in the medical industry to print synthetic scaffolding of a human bladder. This structure would then be coated in cells taken from the patient’s tissue, which ultimately solved the issue of rejection, as the material was solely from the patient.
A few years later in 2002, EnvisionTEC was created, a major 3D printing company that has printers for all varying purposes ranging from dental, bioprinting, jewelry, and more. Recently, Desktop Health (previously EnvisionTEC) launched a new 3D dental printer, the Einstein.
The Einstein is available in the base model, Pro, and Pro XL, ranging in price to accommodate all budgets. To see our available EnvisionTEC 3D Printers for dental practices click here.
Recently, Desktop Health launched one of the strongest dental resin materials, Flexcera Smile Ultra+, which was FDA approved for permanent use. This material is an FDA 510(k) approved class 2 medical device that can be sued for permanent dental restorations. This means that dental professionals are able to 3D print customized smiles for patients, whether for permanent or temporary use.
Desktop Health’s advancement has proved to be a major breakthrough for dentistry, like veneers, bridges, crowns, dentures, and inlays in minutes. This can cut patient wait time from weeks of waiting for labs to produce the model to just a few hours.
If you are interested in reading more about this topic, visit this press release.
While the dental industry has been using 3D printing technology for years, other advancements in dental tech have pushed for the increased usage of 3D printing. Today the dental industry uses 3D printing for surgical guides, implants, models, orthodontic aligners, and more.
Previously, dentistry relied heavily on laboratories to produce these items but as the technology continues advancing, popularity has increased, and prices of printers have been decreasing. For this reason, many dental practices have found that there are several benefits to having an in-office 3D printer.
Dental 3D printing is used to create crowns, bridges, dentures, implants, orthodontic molds and models, surgical guides, and repair damaged teeth.
To create a surgical guide, specialists use a combination of intraoral scans and CBCT to view the patient’s anatomical data and then create a treatment plan using CAD software. After this, a 3D printer is used to produce a guide that is ready to be used in surgery, allowing for an enhanced workflow and higher accuracy.
Before 3D printing, previous efforts of making dentures required significantly more time and labor with the patient making multiple trips to the office and various steps in production. This previous denture production also required having skilled dental lab techs, and with a steep learning curve, it could be difficult to fill these positions. Now, dentures can be simply printed in two parts, the pink baseplate, and the denture teeth, in a process that takes between 2 and 4 hours.
For many practices, adding a dental laboratory is out of the question because it is such a large investment, with the estimated cost being upwards of $100,000. Fortunately, with 3D printers becoming more readily available and becoming less expensive, it is now possible to have the benefits of having a lab for a fraction of the cost.
By saving money on creating high-quality dental products, practices can save patients time and money. New advances have also made 3D printing significantly faster and more accurate, so with the new budget-friendly options from Desktop Health, now is the perfect time to buy.
If you’re interested in learning more about 3D printing in dentistry, contact our 3D Printing Specialist, John Wageman at Johnw@capitaldentalequipment.com or (210) 722-0516.