One industry that is greatly benefiting from 3D printing, is Denstritry. With digital models and accurate results helping patients, more than ever, 3D printing is revolutionizing dental dentistry.
What is 3D Printing?
3D printing enables you to create three dimensional solid objects with modeling software. A 3D printer is different from a normal printer in many ways. You don’t need an ink cartridge with 3D printers, however, you do need ‘special printing material’ that could be anything from rubber, plastic and even metal! But what about 3D printing in the medical world? Technicians use special biological material to create real-life 3D replicas of heart, kidney, skin and even teeth.
3D Printing in Dentistry
Let us first understand the workflow, to know how 3D printing helps in Dentistry. The first step includes getting CT scans of patients with the help of conventional medical practices. Softwares then, convert these scans into 3D digital models in STL formats. The last step involves printing these STL files with the help of 3D printers. Thanks to 3D printing now doctors and technicians can create a replica of human anatomy. This is beneficial for both the patient and the doctor in more than one way. From assisting in surgical planning to printing surgical tools, 3D printing is catching momentum in Dentistry.
Benefits of 3D printing in Dentistry
1. Better precision
When you compare a plaster model and a 3D model, the 3D model provides more stability and durability. A 3D model is the closest precise alternative to the original structure. The dental technician can safely work with 3D models, without having to worry about its lines and edges.
2. Mimics dental anatomy
Unlike milled models, 3D models provide a higher level of detail due to its complex structure.3D ones often come with a removable gingiva mask which precisely mimics the shape and texture of our gums. For the dental technician, it almost feels like a real-time operation.
3. Shorter timelines and faster results
One of the best perks of 3D printing is that it saves a lot of time. After an intraoral scanning, your dentist can straightaway proceed to take digital copies and send it to a dental lab for printing. 3D printing. With the help of electronic media, it barely takes a few minutes to send and receive digital copies. Once the lab receives your copies, it gets to work, with 3D printing.
4. Better decision making
3D modeling is also helping students and technicians gain a better understanding of various cases. By practicing mock surgeries on 3D models dental students are getting a chance to work on/in real-time scenarios. This helps them in decision making during actual surgeries.
5. Clean workplace for technicians
Technicians now, don’t have to deal with plaster and grinding dust. It takes half the time to create 3D molds with double the accuracy. With cases getting more complex over the years, doctors find it hard to customize surgical guides. 3D printing brings a promising solution to this problem as well.
Future of 3D Modeling in Dentistry
Dentistry is no longer defined and limited to old stereotypes. Thanks to emerging technologies, dentistry is evolving fast. Two of these technological advancements namely – IV Sedation Dentistry and 3D printing have completely changed the way patients picture a dentist’s office. An IV sedation is encouraging more patients to get over the phobia of visiting a dentist, whereas 3D modeling is cutting down on costs, lead time, increasing production and accuracy.
But the question is, how is the industry responding to 3D printing and other emerging technologies. While many technicians all over the world have already adopted these practices, a few remain critical, sticking to the old norms and conventional ways. Reason? Adopting a new work-logic, learning advanced software, getting friendly with technology and of course a lack of confidence in innovations.
Let’s have a look at the market and numbers :
The market, however, differs in opinion. A research conducted by a consulting firm QY Research brought out certain facts that go in favor of 3D printing in dentistry. According to the study, 2025 will witness a huge boom in dental 3D printing with figures rising to $930 million by the end of the year. This means the market will grow at a decent rate of 17% per annum, at least.
Dental 3D printing has a bright future. Education, proper training and awareness, in this guise, will be much helpful. Technicians and patients need to be aware of the benefits that come with using such advanced technologies in terms of cost and result. Hiring trained and skilled in the field is necessary. Say for example getting a professional with an IV Certification is like getting a specialist on board. Trust is paramount. When the patient realizes they are working with someone with proper training and experience, they already know they are in safe hands.
With adequate exposure and more acceptance, 3-dimensional printing in dentistry is definitely promising innovative solutions to critical problems.