3D Printers Find its Use in Dentistr
3D printing is increasingly finding its use in different niches. This technology has now found its wider use in digital dentistry. 3D printers can be used by dentists to create dentures, models, braces, and implants, without gels and pastes that are generally used by them for this purpose. Stratasys, the 3D printing giant, was one of the initial adopters of digital dentistry. In 2012, it merged with Object 3D, an Israel based 3D printing company and now they are busy creating new products for the dental arena, with this technology.
A Change from the Traditional Way
Implants, dentures, veneers, etc. need to be produced with customization. This is because, according to experienced dentists, people have different dental structure. So, separate models need to be made. In the traditional way, impression plates which are filled with sodium alginate, silicone or polyether are used to make these models. The patients need to bite down on the plates to leave teeth marks. Based on this and the dentist’s drilling and observations, corrections are made on the teeth as well as the item created from the lab, to get the right fit.
But now, in digital dentistry, there is no requirement of physical impressions. Instead intra-oral scanners are used which offer the dentists a complete view of the anatomy of the patient’s teeth, mouth and jaws. Based on this, labs make precise models that have the right fit. Majority of the scanners work with 3D printers easily. The impressions are stored in the digital files and 3D printed models can be created easily by the dentists for their patients, whenever necessary.
Recently, Stratasys and Object 3D have developed a material known as Veroglaze, to take advantage of 3D printing methods. This material can be used to print diagnostic wax-ups, bridge restorations, crowns, and other objects which are related to tooth.
According to Stratasys, the advantage of Veroglaze is that it is a really strong polymer material which can be used for any kind of requirement of the tooth. It is also colored with the vital A2 teeth color shade, i.e. the ivory white shade which is shown widely in mouthwash and toothpaste ads. This material will turn out to be the first step towards 3D printing models with teeth color, matching with that of the A2 color shade.
Apart from the announcement of Veroglaze, Stratasys has also come up with a new 3D printer, known as the Object Eden260V Dental Advantage 3D Printer. This printer will provide access to the technology of digital dentistry, that too at a low cost.
With all these innovations coming out, 3D printing will definitely make a big impact on dentistry.