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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.


Dental Formlabs


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Dental insurance New Year's resolutions

As the new year approaches, now is an ideal time to reflect on your health and financial well-being to help make the most of your benefits in 2024. Employers can play a vital role in encouraging their employees to take full advantage of the insurance options available to them. In the spirit of the season, we’ve crafted some insurance-related resolutions for your employees to consider as they step into the new year.

Schedule all preventive exams

Make it a priority to schedule all recommended preventive dental, vision and other health screenings and exams. Regular check-ups can help catch potential health issues early, when they are easier and less expensive to treat. Remember, your Delta Dental of Iowa plan covers two preventive dental visits each year, at no out-of-pocket cost to you when you see an in-network dentist.

Review your insurance plan

Take some time to review your dental and vision insurance plan, including any changes in coverage or costs for 2024. Understanding your plan's details, such as deductibles, copays and out-of-pocket maximums, can help you make informed decisions about your healthcare in the year ahead. If you need something clarified, Delta Dental of Iowa is happy to answer your questions. Just call the number on the back of your Delta Dental ID card and our Customer Service team can help.

Maximize your HSA or FSA

If your employer offers a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA), consider maximizing your contributions. These accounts allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars for qualified medical expenses, including for eyeglasses or contact lenses, which lowers your taxable income and helps you save on healthcare costs.

Stay in-network

To avoid unexpected out-of-pocket expenses, choose in-network dental and vision providers. Staying in-network means you’re seeing a high-quality provider at a lower cost. Need to check if your dentist or vision specialist is in-network? Our online Find a Provider tool can help.

Prepare for life changes

Major life events, such as marriage, having a child or experiencing a major health issue, can affect your insurance needs. Keep your employer and Delta Dental of Iowa updated on any life changes to ensure you have the right coverage for your situation.

These insurance-related resolutions are a practical way that employees can make the most of their insurance benefits and enjoy a healthier year ahead.