The phenomenon of 3D
Known as additive manufacturing, the cost maybe higher than the traditional molds that many doctors use, but there are many benefits for orthodontists that offset the cost.
Take a look at this heartwarming story of a father who made a prosthetic hand for his son using a 3D printer.
A well-taken 3D scan of a patient’s teeth means less room for error than alginate or other impression-taking material. The material used in the printer is medical grade and it can create orthodontic appliances with remarkable precision.
The process of producing the models ordinarily happens outside of the office, which will add time to any orthodontic process. Another important benefit of having the model created in-house on a 3D printer is that it cuts down on production time and with more control, too.
Along with being able to create the model on a printer in the office, comes improved customer satisfaction. Part of the requirement for creating a device or model is a 3D computer-aided design (CAM) which many offices now do digitally. This means no more viscous material used to take the impressions—something that many patients are not thrilled about.
Traditionally, orthodontists use models (usually made out of plaster of paris) taken from dental molds to plan treatments. All of the models take up space. With the CAD/CAM imaging used in 3D Printing, impressions of teeth have become digital so all the mess and fuss of model storage is done in a computer file—not on pine shelves.
But more than just molds, as the technology advances—and with the introduction of bacteria-resistant resins—printed brackets and braces that can combat decalcification (white spots) can’t be far off.
This industrious college student used 3D printing to manufacture his own clear plastic retainer.
Orthodontic Associates are firm advocates for beneficial technology that aids the advancement of orthodontics. Our doctors are committed to researching and remaining educated with current practices and services as well as state-of-the-art appliances. It’s how we consistently provide the best orthodontic treatment in Baltimore. We look forward to making you smile!