The 3D printing and scanning revolution has already had a considerable impact upon numerous industries. It’s ability to create detailed and precise objects, without outsourcing from a desktop or office, has changed methodologies of production in service, medicine, and in particular, dentistry.
Creating fillings or implants has typically involved utilising impressions placed upon the area of interest, creating a mould, with which the implant could then be fashioned. However, this is soon likely to change, with the advent of 3D imaging and printing.
Now, a 3D map of the affected area can be created. This is then converted to an imaging file, which is then fed to a local 3D printer, right in the office of many dentists. The implant, filling, or replacement can then be created on the spot, ensuring that the patient has their implant in a timely and efficient fashion, and without any of the discomfort of pressing moulds.
There are other advantages as well. The ultra-precise nature of the printers allows them to recreate each nuance of the affected area, leading to a firmer fit. The building materials for these implants have improved considerably, leading to a tougher end result. And the speed of the creation is unsurpassed: wait times are considerably less before the new implant is ready for use.
Like in many other sectors, dentistry is seeing its old methods change as 3D printers and scanners begin to make an impact. Technology will no doubt continue to alter this field as it comes to the fore.