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Practical applications of 3D printing in dental treatment
The laboratory has introduced digital dental technology to improve efficiency and reduce costs. In recent years, dental restorations based on software design have become popular, and many dental clinics, laboratories, or professional denture production companies have introduced 3D printing technology. Digital dental technology combined with 3D printing brings high precision, low cost, high efficiency, and oral data that is consistent with a standardized production chain to the dental industry.
Many dental clinics or laboratories use 3D printers to create patient dental models. The three-dimensional data needed to make the model can be collected by directly scanning the mouth (scanning the entire mouth takes about 2 minutes) or by indirectly scanning a traditional physical model. The dental 3D model can be used as a mold and assist in the production of teeth using traditional methods. Crowns, dentures, etc. Another function is similar to the 3D model of orthopedics and tumor surgery, which is used to simulate and plan the surgical process or communicate with the patient about the surgical process.

Direct 3D printing of dentures is also already possible. Envision TEC has obtained Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for a printing material that can be used directly to print temporary crowns. The temporary crown can be worn by the patient for up to 5 years. Many professionals predict that by 2020, most dentists will gradually begin to use 3D-printed crowns, which will eliminate the need for highly specialized production in dental laboratories and also meet the different needs of patients for crowns.
In addition, dental braces produced through 3D printing technology are also becoming available. Compared with traditional dental braces, 3D-printed transparent braces are not only invisible and beautiful but also have a size that is more suitable for the patient’s dental condition at each stage of the correction period. Compared with traditional methods that rely on the experience of dentists for adjustments, this correction technology has more advantages. Abroad, ClearCorrect has used Stratasys’ 3D printing equipment and materials to produce transparent correctors. The use of 3D printing technology to produce metal crowns, fixed bridges, and other restorations has also become a technology used in the dental industry. In summary, 3D printing brings the efficiency of digital dental technology to the production stage. By using a combination of oral scanning, CAD/CAM design, and 3D printing, dental laboratories can accurately and quickly produce a range of dental products, such as crowns, bridges, dental models, braces, and more.

The 3D printing technologies commonly used in the dental industry mainly include photosensitive resin selective solidification technology (SLA), selective laser melting technology (SLM), inkjet printing technology (Polyjet), and metal laser sintering technology (DMLS). However, each technology is suitable for processing different dental products. SLA technology is mainly used in the manufacture of dental surgical guides, temporary crowns and bridges, and resin models for lost wax casting. The materials used in restorations such as crowns and fixed bridges mainly include dental gold alloys, titanium alloys, cobalt-chromium alloys, stainless steel, etc. These restorations require high precision and the shapes of the restorations are relatively complex. SLM technology has great advantages in the manufacturing of dental restorations because it can quickly and directly produce precise and personalized complex metal structures. Polyjet technology has many application cases in the production of dental molds, surgical guides, veneer models, dental braces, delivery and positioning trays, and related laboratory and business designs of various types of models. The process principle of DMLS technology comes from selective laser sintering (SLS). Traini T and others have used DMLS technology to directly manufacture porous dental implants of functionally graded titanium materials.

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