People rarely associate 3D printers with the dental industry, but dentists actually use the
technology quite often to create tools and appliances. With in-house printers, dentists save money by
creating molds for many of their services rather than purchasing them from outside suppliers. As 3Dprinting technology improves, use of 3D printing in the dental Industry also have been increased.
The Dental Office
Every dental business has some variation of a standard setup that includes a waiting room with a
check-in desk and receptionist, partitioned areas and closets used for storage, an x-ray area, and offices.
Some businesses also have large, separate workspaces where dentists and their staff make molds or
create appliances, perform repairs on appliances, and sanitize any tools that are not single-use. 3D printing in the dental industry is most useful in those workspaces.
Dentists frequently buy the tools and materials they use for making molds, fillings, crowns, and
other items. The ability to produce some of those items quickly, safely, and in-house benefits both the
dentist and patient. As 3D printers are being made with food- and medical-grade materials, dental offices
can produce more of the items they need on-site, reducing the need for outsourcing. Making things inhouse not only offers increased speed but also increased control over the end product. The technology also gives them the ability to make adjustments on the fly.
Items Dental Offices Can Print
While several items within a dentist’s office are sheathed in plastic wrap and then sanitized after
use, many other items are single-use. These single-use items can take days or weeks to arrive after being
ordered from suppliers, and there are few (if any) options to use in the meantime. By bringing in a 3D
printer and resin created specifically for dental and medical products (metals, silicone, and other materials), the office can print off a few of the tools they need instead.
Veneers, crowns, nightguards, and other appliances are created offsite, and patients wait for them
to be shipped back for installation. Those items can instead be completed with an in-house printer. A mold can be created to build many of the pieces directly in the dental office in a few hours. If a mold needs to follow the shape of a patient’s teeth, a 3D printer can be programmed to measure the dimensions and shape of that area of the mold. A printing design can be created using the system’s software, allowing the device to be printed in the office. This can save significant turnaround time on some devices, save money on labor and shipping, and put more control back into the dentist’s hands.
Nexa3D Printers for Dental Offices
Nexa3D has a dental printer for dental offices of all sizes. It is widely used for 3D Printing in The Dental Industry. The printer has a small footprint with a
larger-than-average print space, allowing it to fit neatly into the smallest of dental offices. The materials for the printer are medical grade and safe for dental use. Popular uses include nightguards (which can be
made much more affordably than outsourced versions) and trays used for tooth whitening. Ensuring the
software is user-friendly makes it suitable for use by those who are not well trained in computers and
advanced technology. Even for a novice user, 3D printing provides greater control over end products.
Dental printers are created specifically to work with approved materials. They create medical-grade
products safe for dental use. The cleaning and curing process completed after printing has finished ensures all residue and minor imperfections are corrected before the printed item is used. Curing the item for additional time after removing it from the printer can harden it. Avoiding the curing step may leave the item slightly more flexible. A dentist can decide upon the appropriate choice for any printed item.
If the printed device is not fitting a patient’s teeth correctly, small changes can be made outside of
the printer. When necessary, it can be altered in the software of the printer and reprinted. As the printer is providing faster printing times, it can take under an hour for some purposes and a few hours for most. Patients in pain can get significant relief from the expedited creation of pain-relieving devices.
The dental field is just one industry that is using 3D printers to offer faster and improved products and
services to their customers. With specialized printers that use medical grade and food-safe materials,
dentists can expand the things that they can do within their office. They can provide items faster than a
third-party service would deliver, and help their patients to be more comfortable.