3D Printing may not immediately come to mind when you think of dentistry but it’s one of the most dynamic areas of healthcare use on the market today. Since a common facet of 3D printing is customization, it is ideal for dental models and in-mouth treatment devices. 3D printed innovations have a direct impact on the patient, providing unique ways for them to get a better understanding of what their treatment will involve, ensuring more comfort and a better outcome. The challenge for many dental professionals however, is designing and manufacturing such customized oral appliances in a way that is timely, efficient and cost effective. This is where 3D printing is bringing value to the dental supply chain with innovations in digital workflow.
Digital dental labs are revolutionizing the creation and delivery processes, taking advantage of multi-material technology to invent new types of splints for orthodontics as well as forms for use in oral surgery, creating physical mock-ups which are identical to real teeth, and the production of models which clearly highlight the areas of treatment for each individual patient. It’s being realized in the dental industry, that when you begin to work digitally, nearly everything you do becomes measurable. By comparison, the traditional dental lab works manually, and as a result, average productivity becomes much harder to quantify. Labs that have yet to adopt 3D printing in their workflow are limited in their ability to efficiently create similar patient experiences.