We see a boom in innovations in every field with exciting technological growth in the fields of medicine, biomedical engineering, and the emergence of high-tech, easy-to-implement solutions in dentistry. Innovations like chair side millings using CAD-CAM and 3D printing have reformed dentistry in a futuristic way never imagined before.
WHAT IS 3D PRINTING?
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a technology that involves the deposition of sequential layers of material, on top of one another to eventually form a 3-dimensional object much like a printer would do, but in all three dimensions.
3-D printing is a rapidly growing technology in dentistry and is increasingly being used in dental laboratories for various purposes. New software programs, digital scanners, additive technologies, and post-processing methods make this possible to increase efficiency and cut costs, speed fabrication speeds and improve quality. This benefits doctors and patients greatly, save time and expenses amongst other advantages. It enables the in-house fabrication of dental prostheses, orthodontics appliances, surgical templates, etc. It reduces errors and improves fabrication quality.
HOW DOES 3D PRINTING WORK?
This technology employs intraoral scanning to capture a high-definition real-time 3D image of the oral cavity which can be stored in the computer. Once the intraoral scan is done, it is transferred to the computer to get 3-D images of the patient’s teeth and sent to labs for fabrication or the in-office setup. CAD-CAM software is employed for treatment planning and designing of the appliances or prosthesis. With 3D printers, each prosthesis/appliance is built up layer-by-layer. Hence even delicate components are easily created and controlled by a software program.
3D PRINTING IN ORTHODONTICS
Orthodontists are devoted to creating beautiful smiles. However, crafting the perfect smile is a time-consuming process. Innovations in digitization have, however, made this job easier than ever! 3-D printing has revolutionized the orthodontic process, by providing various advantages over the conventional workflow process. There have been breakthrough advances in intraoral scanning technology which help orthodontists to eliminate the messy and cumbersome process of taking dental impressions which are unpleasant to patients as well. 3-D Printers with the help of CAD-CAM technology can fabricate various appliances like clear aligners, removable appliances (Hawleys retainer, splints), functional appliances, arch expansion appliances, retainers, archwires, brackets, auxiliaries, trays for indirect bonding, set up models which will make lingual orthodontics and mock surgeries fast and easy, also study models.
The ability to use an intraoral scanner, software, and 3D printing can give orthodontists precise control over the tooth movement allowing accurate appliance fabrication and reduced treatment times. The entire process can be streamlined and completed within half the time and with maximum accuracy. With a 3-D printer doing the hard work, dental labs can eliminate all the manual modeling that was previously done and focus on growing the business by catering to more patients and doctors efficiently!! At K Line, we use 3D printing for increased precision and efficiency of the treatment, so that you can provide the best treatment to your patients. We collaborate with Photocentric Inc. for our 3D printed models so that you always provide the best treatment to your patients.
This entire process which used to be a fantasy or a script of a sci-fi movie, just a few years back is now a reality, all thanks to 3D printing.
The future is here, indeed!