Technological advances in the 21st century have revolutionized dental care. 3D printing is the next big thing, at the heart of the new era in digital dentistry. The advent of 3D dental printing promises to cut costs, increase accuracy, and shorten the timeline of treatments and procedures.
What is 3D Dental Printing?
3D dental printing is an innovative digital dentistry procedure that incorporates 3D printing into dental care. But first, what exactly is 3D printing? 3D printing is an additive manufacturing process that uses a layering of material to create three-dimensional objects. Forward-thinking clinics like Toronto Smile Design - Yorkville Dental have integrated 3D printing into their digital dentistry processes. 3D printers use laser and computer-based software to develop dental products. They deliver high-quality dental appliances that enhance overall oral health.
Here is everything you need to know about 3D dental printers for digital dentistry.
How 3D-printing is used in dentistry?
3D printing is increasingly becoming a must-have production tool for dental laboratories. In digital dentistry, 3D printing promises to cut costs and production times and increase accuracy. Innovative dental clinics use 3D printing in different ways.
Customization: Digital dentistry requires customization. Today, dentists leverage 3D printing to customize dental care services and products to their patients' unique needs. For example, if you need a dental implant, your Toronto dentist can create a custom treatment plan. Then, they'll use 3D printing to convert this plan into a 3D-printed dental implant guide. It can eliminate errors and risks.
Your Toronto dentist can use CBCT to acquire anatomical data and convert the data into a treatment plan using CAD or CAM software. Then, feed it into a 3D printer to create a ready-to-use surgical guide. Dental 3D printers can deliver visual treatment plans to support a fully guided implant surgery. Complex implantation procedures like All-on-4 dental implants can benefit from 3D-printed surgical guides. These digital implantology aids enhance the predictability and improve the outcome of oral surgeries.
Dentists use 3D-printed dental models as educational tools. If your tooth is broken, your Toronto dentist can create its 3D model and use it during consultation. It can help you see the extent of the damage. Your dentist can also use a 3D model of guided implant placement to enhance your understanding of the recommended treatment plans.
3D printing is used in so many ways in digital dentistry to augment complex procedures. But most dentists use 3D technology to develop dental products.
What do dentists use 3D printers for?
Dentists use 3D printers to develop dental products with intricate details. 3D printing technology streamlines the development workflow and delivers functional products in four steps:
Acquire digital documentation.
Import the data into CAD/CAM software and design the product.
Upload the file on a 3D dental printer to print the product.
Prepare printed parts for placement in the patient's mouth.
By combining digital documentation, CAD/CAM software, and 3D printing, a dentist can produce a wide range of dental appliances.
Crown and Bridge Models: The last thing you need is a loose dental crown. If it comes off when you're eating, you can swallow it with the food. Dental 3D printers use precision-guided lasers to create perfectly sized dental crown and bridge models. This technology allows your dentist to create custom 3D-printed dental models quickly and easily.
Also known as night guards, mouthguards are worn by patients with bruxism or excessive teeth grinding to prevent teeth damage. To provide the highest level of protection, your night guard should fit around your teeth perfectly. Your Toronto dentist can 3D-print mouthguards to meet your unique needs. 3D-printed nightguards are designed with precision for a perfect fit.
These appliances offer dental protection. But the cost discourages most patients from acquiring occlusal guards. With 3D printing, your dentist can create 3D-printed occlusal guards cost-effectively. In addition, this technology makes these dental appliances more accessible to the masses.
Dentists prescribe occlusal splints for therapeutic purposes and prevent wear and tear, chips, and cracks on teeth. But the cost and tedious manufacturing process discourage dentists from prescribing these dental appliances. 3D printing eliminates this dilemma. It allows dentists to develop 3D-printed splints quickly and cost-effectively.
Developing dentures using manual processes is time-consuming and labour-intensive. With a 3D dental printer, your dentist can deliver your custom dentures in one office visit.
Traditionally, patients make multiple office visits and wait for long periods to get their custom-made retainers. 3D-printing retainers can eliminate the waiting period. This technology allows your dentist or orthodontist to transform your dental impression into 3D-printed retainers within a few hours.
3D printing for digital dentistry is evolving and expanding rapidly. As a result, you can expect the list of 3D-printed dental products to increase significantly within a short period.
Are crowns 3D-printed?
Yes, they are! With 3D printing, you visit a dental office and leave with your dental crown:
Your dentist will acquire digital documentation.
Import the data into CAD/CAM software and design a perfectly shaped and sized dental crown.
Upload the design into a 3D printer.
Your dental crown will be ready for placement in a few minutes or hours. Toronto Smile Design -Yorkville Dental uses digital processes to carve out dental crowns from a single piece of porcelain. This innovative approach delivers high-quality dental crowns with a lifespan of over ten years.
How long do 3D-printed crowns last?
It all depends on your oral health, dental hygiene, product quality, and habits. Traditional porcelain crowns have a lifespan of 10-15 years. But 3D-printed dental crowns last around five years because most dentists don't have enough experience working with ceramic 3D printing materials. The main advantage of 3D-printed crowns is the cost. They are cheaper than traditional porcelain crowns and fitted on your teeth in one day.
Why Toronto Smile Design - Yorkville Dental for Digital Dentistry?
Dr. Johnson Ozgur is a Toronto dentist with a Master's Degree in Oral Surgery and the only DSD Instructor in Canada. He is an expert in cosmetic and digital dentistry, including digital implantology and 3D-printed mouthguards, retainers, dental crowns, dentures, bridges, and more. To exploit the benefits of digital dentistry and 3D printing, contact Toronto Smile Design - Yorkville Dental today!