Is 3D printing the future of dentistry?

October 24, 2017 - by jveffer - in Uncategorised

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Advances in dental technology continue to improve patient comfort, shorten treatment times, and improve the efficiency and accuracy of the restorative process. The messy, unpleasant experience associated with taking impressions is no longer a given. Today, intraoral scanners can take a full spectrum of digital impressions ranging from single unit cases, to multiunit restoration to full arch scans to implants.

“Digital” impressions captured by intraoral scanners have been used for years to create the models used by dental labs but producing models to support traditional laboratory processes does not fully leverage the possibilities of digital dental impressions. Creating restorations completely without physical models was a next logical step. The principle was simple enough, but producing the full range of restorations without a physical model, required a dental laboratory partner adept at spatial data processing, CAD/CAM additive manufacturing (AM) and design verification.

Advances with in-house milling technology now allow intraoral digital scan data to be sent directly to CAD software, and design a crown in minutes. The digital data in STL format is then sent to a milling unit capable of milling lithium silicate, lithium di-silicate and even pre-sintered zirconia. The milling times are now reduced such that we are able to produce a crown in an hour, from prep start to design to mill to final delivery.

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