Digital Dentistry: The Future of the Dental World

Dentist checking an x-ray on the monitor

3D printing is not a new concept as it has been widely used in the manufacturing, art, and architectural industry. But, did you know that it can also be utilized for your dental needs?

It might not be able to replace all of the conventional manufacturing methods anytime soon, but 3D printing for dentistry still has many applications. Orthodenco Orthodontic Lab notes that some of its advantages include manufacturing speed and accuracy, as well as low dental costs for both dentists and patients.

Uses and Applications

The use of dental 3D printing and imaging is wide and varied. It can help repair or replace damaged teeth with the dentist simply scanning the mouth of the patient using a small digital wand.

This then creates a 3D image of the gums and teeth, which will later be used to create the dental appliance on a 3D printer. Some of the most common dental appliances printed on 3D printers are crowns, caps, bridges, and even dentures.

Dental implants and appliances are not the only ones a 3D printer can be used on as it can also print surgical tools, such as the drill guides required for completing certain dental procedures. Amazingly, this is just the surface of the potential of 3D printing in the dental industry.

Benefits and Advantages

The traditional way of creating a dental model involves getting the impression of the patient’s teeth by having them bite into a gooey dental plaster. If you’ve tried this method, then you know how messy and uncomfortable it can get.

Additionally, patients also have to use a temporary appliance while waiting for their dental appliance to be manufactured. This means going to the dentist’s clinic a second time for the final fitting of the dental appliance, which is inconvenient and time-consuming.

3D printing, on the other hand, is accurate, less messy, and can be quickly manufactured. Who doesn’t like that, right? Furthermore, 3D printing is a lot easier to do than traditional methods.

After processing all the data, all the operator needs to do is press a button, which accounts for its low labor costs. So, dentists and patients can potentially save more money with this method.

3D printing technology might not yet be able to replace the traditional methods of creating many appliances. However, with the continuous advancements in the 3D printing technology, who knows what the future holds for digital dentistry?