Part 2 | The Digital Orthodentist: In-Office 3D Printing

“Technology, like art, is a soaring exercise of the human imagination.” —Daniel Bell

Technology in dentistry is evolving at a break-neck speed. And perhaps the fastest growing niche in dental technology is 3D printing. In part one of this “Digital Orthodentist” multi-part series, we discussed acquisition of data using intraoral scanners. Now we move from acquisition to manufacturing via the use of 3D Printing technology.

3D printers and their companies have exploded over recent years. Everywhere you look, from dental journals and magazines, to dental conventions and meetings, to perhaps your dental supplier wanting to show one off, you have probably seen a 3D printer. Everybody wants to talk about them, but these reps and suppliers really know their uses and how they work? That is the goal of this article: to help explain what exactly 3D printing is, how it is used in dentistry and orthodontics, the types of machines available, as well as the different resins and their uses.

Also, you need to know the pro’s and con’s of different systems, especially when it comes to their workflows and complexities. At the end of the day, 3D printing needs to be productive and something that is delegated in order for it to not be an expensive hobby.

To start, we should ask the most simple question: What is 3D printing exactly?

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Matthew Standridge


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