We believe that technological advances are the way to improve the dental industry for patients and practitioners, which is why we invest our time into discovering the best new technology. Out of all advancements in the dental field, we’re most excited about 3D printing. This developing dental technology has great potential for restorations and other oral health indications.
Since 3D printing was first developed, we’ve watched its evolution in multiple industries. We use this technology as a part of our process, resulting in a beautiful restoration for every patient.
Why 3D Printing Over CAD/CAM Systems?
3D printing produces dental restorations by adding material, instead of subtracting it like with CAD/CAM manufacturing. While we believe CAD/CAM systems still have value in dentistry, we also believe that 3D printing has great potential for the industry.
CAD/CAM is typically used for dental crowns and tooth-colored fillings from ceramic materials. Our DP Advanced IPS e.max, for example, is produced with a CAD/CAM machine. This offers patients durability and high-quality esthetics.
3D printing, however, offers the potential for improved fit and esthetics. It gives us the opportunity to create more complex structures, helping patients receive the best restoration possible.
This manufacturing process also offers expedited processing, creating dental restorations in a little as six minutes. CEREC (a CAD/CAM machine) typically produces a dental restoration in 20 minutes, though it can be as little as eight minutes.
The Future of 3D Printing in Dentistry
As science and technology continue to integrate with 3D printing we’re anticipating even more uses in dentistry. Researchers in the Netherlands have incorporated antibacterial materials into 3D printed plastics that could be used for fillings, dentures, and even braces.
One of the greatest challenges with this dental technology is the lack of esthetics. Plastics aren’t as attractive as ceramics, which limits its use to non-cosmetic zones. They are also not as sturdy, further limiting extensive use.
We don’t see CAD/CAM manufacturing leaving anytime soon, but we do foresee 3D printing evolving into something dentists and dental labs will use every day. We’re excited to be a part of this developing dental technology and are always available to answer any questions you have about the tools we utilize to create beautiful restorations your patients will love. Give us a call at 888.888.8862 for more information.