3D printers print functional prostheses from polymers and metals. 3D bioprinters print bones, joints, tissues and even organs from living cells. It has already changed medicine. Large companies are ordering liver tissue printouts to speed up drug research. Scientists are preparing to unseal the first human organ. This breakthrough is scheduled for 2030, but for now it is getting easier to meet a 3D printer in dentistry.
Why is 3D printing developing so fast in this branch of medicine? The explanation is on the surface — problems with teeth happen to all people and no one ignores the treatment. Because it hurts. Therefore, the introduction of innovations in dentistry will pay off faster than in oncology, for example. Another reason — is that teeth are easier to replace than bones and organs. There is no need for surgical intervention — just open your mouth wider and all your teeth are freely accessible.
Dental technicians use plaster and elastic resins to create an impression of the teeth. This process takes place in several stages and requires constant adjustment of the cast. The cast itself holds its shape for a limited time, then it deforms and then it must be done again.
For 3D printing, the patient’s teeth are modeled along with the jaw in a 3D editor. If you need a complete replacement of the jaw, then you need to model the entire oral cavity – this is much easier to do in a 3D editor. Here, the model can be broken into individual elements of any size, and its whole shape is easier to control. A 3D printer immediately prints a 3D model with polymers and metal, which speeds up treatment, saves on material and tools for impressions.
The dental 3D printer eliminates the need to manually design crowns, dentures and other products. Clients of dental clinics do not wait for the installation of the final design. going through several stages of refinement and fitting. 3D scanning of the oral cavity provides precise parameters for 3D modeling of the crown or jaw.
Images obtained from the results of three-dimensional scanning of the oral cavity are used in the construction of 3D models:
- plaster models;
- bridge prostheses;
- unique orthodontic instrumentation.
Benefits of 3D printing in dentistry
- Storage of anatomical models of the jaw and teeth of patients in digital format.
- High production speed.
- Automated printing process eliminates the human factor.
- High precision of the finished product.
- Advanced training of a dental clinic or research center.
How to create a denture with a 3D printer
- Conduct a 3D scan of the client’s oral cavity using a 3D scanner, CT or MRI machine.
- Process the results based on specialized software products.
- Print a 3D model created from a scan on a dental 3D printer.
- Creating a finished prosthesis using the models obtained on a 3D printer.
- Installation of the finished prosthesis to the patient.
3D printing technologies in dentistry
3D printing in medicine and 3D printing in dentistry use two main printing technologies:
- selective laser sintering – SLS;
- selective laser melting – SLM.
- layer-by-layer application of quick-drying polymers – WDM.
SLS uses a laser to selectively sinter layers of metal powder. The laser in the SLM melts the layers, providing less porosity in the metal of the product.
The starting material for SLM printing — is a fine powder based on a metal alloy. The laser beam melts the powder particles, connecting them together. The next layer is applied to the created alloy layer, then another one, and as a result, a finished product of the desired volume and shape is obtained.
3D printers allow you to print prostheses of complex structure and shape directly from a computer. For the manufacture of prostheses, titanium and its alloys, chromium, cobalt are also used. WDM printers lay down the fast-drying resin in layers, which bond firmly until the resin loses its viscosity.
3D printing technologies — melting, sintering, partial or complete melting of the material, etc. make it possible to create a one-piece structure from polymers and metals.
3D printer for dentistry: price and models
In dentistry, special medical SLM and WDM 3D printers are used. They lay the polymer layer by layer, which becomes hard after drying.
Dental 3D printers cost ~$20,000.
Some companies, like Stratasys, do not disclose the price, offering to contact and discuss the cost through the site. The following printer models are available on the market:
- CrownWorx –Prints high precision crowns and bridges.
- FrameWorx –creates 3D models of removable dentures.
- Objet30 OrthoDesk — is a compact and affordable dental printer for dentists.
- Objet Eden260VS Dental Advantage – Designed specifically for orthodontic and dental laboratories.
- Objet Eden350V and Objet Eden500V — print in 17 different materials.
KLONA – is a Ukrainian 3D printing and 3D modeling company.
We use SLS and FDM printers for 3D printing. We can print 3D models for dentistry.
+38 (044) 338 88 02