There’s never been a better time to invest in 3D printing – we hear about why 3D printers with high accuracy, repeatability, speed and scalability are crucial to your practice.
In the last decade, widespread proliferation of dental 3D scanners, CAD/CAM treatment planning software, and dental mills have contributed to an improved patient experience in dentistry.
Broadly conceived, contemporary technologies in digital dentistry consist of these two innovations as they exist in clinics and labs.
But recent currents in the world of dentistry have argued that 3D printers can further improve this paradigm, closing the loop by offering affordable fabrication localised to the individual dental practice.
Though mills can provide rapid in-office production for certain applications, printers are significantly less expensive, produce less waste and are useful across a wider range of treatments.
What makes a 3D Printer ‘dental’?
The adoption of dental 3D printers is driven by innovation in three major categories.
Material innovation is at the heart of dental 3D printer adoption.
While the production of dental models is crucial for many practices, the creation of dental appliances that can be placed intraorally, such as nightguards, surgical guides and digital dentures, exponentially expand the functionality of the machine.
These biocompatible materials help practices exercise control over the timing, cost, and quality of the appliances they deliver to patients.
Dental 3D printers reached an inflection point when biocompatible materials became widely available for desktop machines.
These FDA-compliant resins make 3D-printed parts safe for intraoral use and offer great mechanical properties, fast production and low cost, propelling desktop 3D printers into dental practices all over the world.
Since the introduction of biocompatible materials for 3D printing in dentistry, there has been an emphasis on improving mechanical properties to provide printed intraoral parts that have great strength and high resistance to wear.
Because materials innovations can come from anywhere, it’s important to choose a 3D printer that offers support for third-party materials.
Accuracy and repeatability
Accuracy and repeatability are essential qualities for a 3D printer that will be used in dentistry.
To provide the highest standard of care, extremely high accuracy is a non-negotiable feature. Recent advancements in materials and printing technology have supercharged the accuracy of 3D printers such as Sprintray Pro S, propelling them beyond what was originally thought possible.
The central requirements of dental manufacturing are very high accuracy and repeatable results.
Bringing the manufacturing of models and other appliances in-office only pays off if the technology can consistently provide the tight tolerances required for fitted parts.
It isn’t enough for a single print to provide good results; they need to be repeatable over time and across various environments.
Production speed and scalability
To keep pace with a busy office, a good dental 3D printer should offer rapid print speeds and high overall production throughput. These are a factors of build plate size and light delivery technology, and should not be overlooked.
Though your practice or lab may not need high throughput immediately, production needs tend to scale up quite rapidly once they start.
A printer that seems adequate before you start may become a bottleneck when the versatility in applications becomes clear.
Is now the right time to buy?
When it comes to being ready for the future, not all 3D printing products are created equally.
But if you’re worried that now isn’t the right time to invest, think again. 3D printing will continue to make amazing advances in performance and reliability. But even today, these machines can dramatically improve the speed, quality, customisability, and costs of the procedures you are doing today.
If you carefully consider your choice and select a printer that allows for third party resins and has a robust software and hardware ecosystem, then there’s never been a better time.
Sprintray Pro allows you to get in ahead of the curve without the growing pains that come with being an early adopter and will continue to be cutting-edge for years to come.
Interested to learn more? Request a free demo here: sprintray.com/en-uk/request-a-demo