3DIn dentistry

3D printing or additive manufacturing in dentistry has become an easy business choice for both dental practices and labs, with modern technology combining high quality with low costs and streamlined workflows.

In-office dental 3D printing helps improve the efficiency of forward-thinking practices. By leveraging existing technologies that exist in digital dentistry, 3D printing enables better responsiveness to patient needs, significantly reduces manufacturing times, and opens up new treatment options.

With low operating costs, minimal maintenance, and user-friendly design, our products make it easy to bring digital dentistry and 3D printing together in your practice.

The Dental 3DPrinting Workflow

1. Scan

Collection of a digital impression with an intraoral scanner. These are then passed to the design station or dental lab.

2. design

Scan impression is imported into design software (CAD) for application design.

3. print

Once design is complete, the file is transferred to print preparation software for print setup, printing and then finishing, which includes washing, drying and post-curing (CAM).

Dental 3Dprinter applications

3D Printertechnonogies

The two most accepted 3D printing technologies in dental and orthodontic practices and labs today are Digital Light Processing (DLP) and Stereolithography (SLA).

In DLP, a vat of liquid resin is selectively exposed to a digital light projector across the required print area, solidifying resin in specific areas and so building the required dental application. SLA operates with the same chemical process as DLP, but uses a laser as a light source, rather than the digital projector of DLP.

The way these 3D printers work is therefore very similar, with the difference being in costs and print speed rather than the actual technologies.

Other 3D technologies include Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), which is quiet widely used in the creation of dentures, surgical guides and dental models, and Material Jetting (MJP), a slightly older printing technology. These technologies are somewhat limited in comparison with DLP and SLA, given their quality of output and high cost of throughput materials respectively.

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3D scanningtechnologies

There are two main imaging acquisition modalities in dentistry: CBCT and 3D Scanning. 3D scanning, a completely non-invasive modality with no radiation, is also heavily utilized in the 3D printing orthotics and prosthetics industry.  Typical intraoral 3D scanners are preferred but an external 3D scanner can also be used to scan dental articulators, triple-tray impressions, and texture scanning.

Intraoral dental 3D scanners are small handheld scanners that go directly into the patient’s mouth to examine the inside as well as to scan the teeth directly. They are significantly faster and less cumbersome than impressions as the scans can be processed immediately, meaning they can be used to skip the impression stage. Additionally, the images can be stored to be reused in case a device is distorted or lost.

The two imaging modalities are complementary in many procedures providing both superficial soft tissue and intra-oral anatomy, and deeper facial maxillary bony anatomy.

3D Unique is a Shining 3D registered partner and supplier of 3D scanning technologies.

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dentalsoftware

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3D Printingmaterials

Our large selection of dental 3D printing materials are designed to get the most out of your 3D printer. Developed and tested for market-leading performance in digital dentistry, these resins are built to achieve high quality results while providing great value for money.

fh1100 gray standard resin

Colour:

Viscosity:

Density:

Gray

350cps ( 25°C )

1.05 – 1.15g / cm3

Tensile Strength:  42Mpa

Shore Hardness:  85D

Flexural Strength:  50Mpa

Colour:

Viscosity:

Density:

Tensile Strength: 

Shore Hardness:

Flexural Strength:

Gray

350cps ( 25°C )

1.05 – 1.15g / cm3

42Mpa

85D

50Mpa

FHD1500 Transparent resin

Colour:

Viscosity:

Density:

Transparent

150cps ( 25°C )

1.08 / cm3

Tensile Strength:  35-42Mpa

Shore Hardness:  82D

Flexural Strength:  62-70Mpa

Colour:

Viscosity:

Density:

Tensile Strength:

Shore Hardness:

Flexural Strength:

Transparent

150cps ( 25°C )

1.08 / cm3

35-42Mpa

82D

62-70Mpa

Fhd1400 Yellow dental model resin

Colour:

Viscosity:

Density:

Yellow

350cps ( 25°C )

1.10g / cm3

Tensile Strength:  43Mpa

Shore Hardness:  84D

Flexural Strength: 52Mpa

Colour:

Viscosity:

Density:

Tensile Strength: 

Shore Hardness:

Flexural Strength:

Yellow

350cps ( 25°C )

1.10g / cm3

43Mpa

84D

52Mpa

Fhd1300 Carnation dental model resin

Colour:

Viscosity:

Density:

Skin Colour

120cps ( 30°C )

1.118g / cm3

Tensile Strength:  60.5Mpa

Shore Hardness:  81D

Colour:

Viscosity:

Density:

Tensile Strength:

Shore Hardness:

Skin Colour

120cps ( 30°C )

1.118g / cm3

60.5Mpa

81D

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Technological Advantages of 3D Printing in Dentistry

The major advantages associated with 3D printing in dentistry include:

1. MassCustomization

One of the most commonly used 3d printing applications in dentistry is perhaps the dental aligner. Each day millions of dental aligners are manufactured using a process that leverages 3D printing. Each one of these aligners is a unique application catered to a personalized treatment plan. As much as the aligner industry is thriving with more and more competing companies offering cheaper, faster, and simpler solutions to the consumers, this wouldn’t be possible without the benefit of being able to simultaneously 3D print many unique geometries without large upfront capital expenditures.

While still competing against many traditional manufacturing processes such as injection moulding and digital subtractive manufacturing processes, 3D printing offers consistently accurate, efficient, cheaper, and often more superior alternatives which is resulting in it having become the preferred technology in the dental industry.

2. Complexityfor “Free”

When it comes to the concept of “complexity for free”, we are reminded of a 3D printed gyroid lattice, which is nearly impossible to produce without a significant cost and is impossible to mass produce. Since we are all unique creatures, this feature is extremely valuable in healthcare because personalization is most often desired.

The ability to be able to create large volumes of customized medical devices at no added cost is obvious, and no exception to dentistry since everyone’s dental anatomy is unique.

3D printing can also greatly simplify the current manufacturing workflow by reducing the need for subcomponents. 3D printing can create intricate internal structures obviating the need for assembly, screws etc. which then also simplifies sourcing and supply chain logistics.

The dental technology of intraoral scanners, design software and 3D printers is enabling general dentists to provide what used to be a very complex procedure to a bigger and less affluent population.

3. DesignFreedom

Design freedom is related to the “complexity for free” concept. 3D printing’s ability to produce a larger portfolio of complex geometries enables designers of medical and dental devices more creativity. This resonates with many healthcare providers who often face patients’ unique problems but with no readily available solutions.

With new tools, new solutions will be created in geographies and patient populations that were previously not specifically addressed due to socio-economic or simply technical barriers. Some of these innovations will be equivalent to existing solutions, but more will be adopted because it is better than an existing solution. Such revolutions have been observed in the aligner and hearing aid industries for decades, where the 3D printing process replaced old manufacturing techniques, vastly improving patient experience.

New design techniques, including topology optimization and generative design that require 3D printing to produce final products, are also growing rapidly in the future of product design.

4. Decentralized ManufacturingAt Point of Care

3D printing is more integrated into the digital dentistry workflow than ever before. In-office intra-oral 3D scanners, milling machines and 3D printers are now must-haves for a modern dental office.

With 3D printing at the point of care, dental practitioners are now able to diagnose, plan treatment, and even deliver the likes of crowns and implants with a much-shortened timeline. There is less need to send the treatment plan to a dental lab with more and more dental labs now merging with dental providers. This trend is a clear indication that the patients (and dentists) prefer manufacturing at the point of care. This preference has become a clear industry economic drive for both dental and medical 3D printing. 

In addition to crowns, and temporaries, a variety of point-of-care dental devices are also made faster and cheaper, which include dental surgical guides (along with other virtual planning tools), aligners, and even implants. 

5. MaterialInnovation

The invention of clear aligners represents not just what 3D printing can do to make things, but what kind of material and design innovations come with it. Clear aligners are formed using a series of dental models that are CAD generated and then 3D printed. These models are then used in producing the aligners during a process called vacuum forming.

By using existing or inventing new clear thermoplastics that have the aesthetics, biocompatibilities, and mechanical properties, the dental aligner industry showed the world how 3D printing and the design thinking behind it can create a massive new market that benefits millions who previously did not consider having braces.

Material innovation is accelerating faster than ever before, enabling many innovators in the dental 3D printing space to bring new opportunities and solutions.

6. Dental ProfessionalsUpskilling

In addition to the disruptive nature of the clear aligner industry to orthodontists, 3D printing and digital dentistry are disrupting the traditional dental professional subspecialties by equipping general dentists with tools that can produce equal and even superior end results for patients.

One such example is dental implantology. More and more general dentists can now perform this procedure with the help of digital tools including 3D printing surgical guides. This increases access to care for the patients, generating new revenue for general dentists, and decreasing the pricing of similar procedures.

7. 3D Printing ApplicationUptake in Dentistry

While the success of aligners is the most visible application, there are many existing and new applications in oral health. Of the various dental industry subspecialties, including general dentistry, oral surgery, endodontics, prosthodontist, periodontics, and orthodontics, the surgical-based subspecialties like dental implantology, dental surgery, and orthodontics are taking a lead in both research and commercialization of dental 3D printing services and products.

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