3D printing is a revolutionary technology, and if it’s been properly implemented, it has enormous possibilities for just about every industry, including the dentistry. With the right 3D printing technologies, it may be possible to create dental tools, prosthetics and even tissue implants using bioprinting.
In this article, we’ll take a look at just a few of the ways that 3D printing can change the world of dentistry and dental care for the better.
Understanding the State of 3D Printing in Dentistry
There is already quite a large market for 3D printing in dentistry. It’s been estimated that the market size currently is larger than $4 billion per year, and will grow to more than $9.5 billion by 2027, as 3D printing and digital scanning technologies continue to improve.
Currently, 3D printing is primarily used for plastics, such as retainers and acrylic-based dentures. But as the technology is refined and becomes more usable with porcelain, resin, and other advanced dental materials, it’s sure to become even more popular.
How is 3D Printing Used at the Dentist?
3D printing is currently being used for dental and orthodontic models, allowing for patients to get a better idea of their oral health and treatment plan. In addition, it’s being used for castables, such as crowns, dental bridges, and partial frameworks, which traditionally can take weeks to be completed.
3D printing is also being used for restorations like dental implants, as well as dental appliances like bite guards and indirect bonding trays.
The primary obstacle to 3D printing at the dental office is cost. It’s quite expensive to purchase a 3D printer or use the services of a third-party 3D printing company that meets the quality and medical standards necessary for dentistry.
But as time goes on, and 3D printing technology becomes more affordable, we expect to see higher adoption due to lower costs, enhanced efficiency, and decreased waste.
Look Out For 3D Printing at Your Dentist!
Next time you need a crown, filling, or other dental restoration, your dentist may not have to turn to a third-party lab and they may sculpt it in the office with 3D printing! The future is now, and we expect to see widespread adoption of this technology within a decade.