According to the recent announcement of Formlabs, they are now able to launch the Digital Dentures which is a dental prosthetic which can be printed directly using a 3D machine. The process of 3D printing was tested at every possible angle with the assistance of dental technicians. The 3D printing was made possible using two materials, denture teeth resin and denture base resin which make it possible for dental labs to create the durable dentures with high accuracy. The durability can be compared to Reading dentures created by the local dentists.
Looking back during the seventh century where ancient Italians are looking for ways to remedy edentulous patients using partial dentures that are made of either human or animal teeth, 3D printing of dentures has proven that technology has really brought us to a new level of innovation. Nowadays, around 50 million dentures are manufactured all over the world but digital tools are responsible for only 1 per cent of the total number.
Modern dentures are usually created using acrylic resin and various plastic materials. The workflow is still analog though thus it takes a lot of time and labor wherein the patients need to come back a few times not to mention the production phase. Production of dentures is considered a complex process and the learning curve is quite steep. No wonder why dental labs are having a hard time employing technicians who have the skills and experience when it comes to making them.
3D printing paved the way to digital dentures which is a big step in making the overall process a simpler one for dental laboratories all over the world. There are many advantages brought about by digital 3D printing of dentures including:
- High quality end products that is accurate and consistent. This is because the steps involved are fewer and the variables are limited than analog production. When the workflow is consistent, the end product is of high quality.
- Custom teeth are made possible with 3D printing which is unlike pre-manufactured denture cards. This means that every denture is customized to the person who will use them.
- Production cost is lower because the hardware is affordable. Production is expanded but there is not too much overhead added.
The challenge now is for dentists to purchase 3D printers that can manufacture Reading dentures that are digitally made.