How 3D printing could change your dental experience
In recent years, 3D printing has emerged as a game-changer in several industries, and dentistry is no exception. This technology is reshaping the way dental professionals treat patients.
Prior to the use of 3D printing in dentistry, creating dental molds and devices was a long and complicated process. Now, 3D printing has made this experience easier and more comfortable for both patients and dentists.
Here, we explain more about 3D printing and how it may lead to more accurate, efficient and personalized dental care.
How is 3D printing used in dentistry?
3D printing in dentistry can be used in lots of ways. One common use is by making dental models or impressions (impressions are imprints of the structures of your mouth, such as your teeth and gums). Before 3D printing was used in dentistry, dentists obtained impressions by using trays filled with a messy substance that would mold around the patient’s teeth and gums — and it was an uncomfortable experience for patients to endure. But with 3D printing, dentists are able to use an image to create an accurate replica of your teeth and gums without the use of messy trays.
3D printing can also create dental devices, such as dentures, crowns and bridges, that are made for your mouth. 3D printing is not only personalized but also much faster than traditional device-making methods, so you can have a custom-made, natural-looking product created and implanted in just a few hours.
Orthodontics is another area benefiting from 3D printing. Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are created by your orthodontist using 3D printing technology. Using a 3D printing technology, your orthodontist can scan your mouth and create custom-fitted aligners in a fraction of the time needed for metal braces.
Talk to your dentist about whether 3D printing is right for you
3D printing benefits patients in several ways, such as delivering more comfortable and customized dental care. If you need to have a dental procedure that may benefit from 3D printing, ask your dentist if they plan to use that technology and if it is right for you.