Science and Innovation

The Use of Three-Dimensional (3D) Printing for Dental Implants

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Scientific advances and innovative technologies are having a profound impact in all areas of dentistry. Dental implants are a particularly exciting area that is benefiting from new technologies such as 3D printing. Dental patients are showing an enthusiastic receptivity to advances in dentistry too. For example, approximately half a million individuals in the United States receive a dental implant each year. To keep up with these and other advances in dentistry, include Implant dentistry journal on your reading list.

What Is 3D Printing?

3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing where computer programs are used to make physical objects by joining or hardening material according to a design. A wide variety of materials can be used for 3D printing, including plastic powder, metal granules and liquid molecules. The material used depends on the purpose of the object being created. 3D printing can be used to create prototypes of designs or final versions of products. Individuals with basic training in 3D printing can use a 3D printer to make replacement objects such as bicycle pedals, for example.

How Is 3D Printing Applied to Dental Implants?

Today, 3D printing is being used widely in dentistry and oral surgery. One of the most practical applications of 3D printing is the creation of crowns, implants and other dental structures. Specialized 3D printers with user-friendly interfaces are being created for use in dental labs. Oral surgeons can use 3D printing to create anatomical models to help plan implant surgery in patients with severe bone loss or other challenging issues. Further applications and advances are sure to come as dental professionals become more familiar with the technology.

There has never been a more exciting time for the field of dentistry. The use of 3D printing in dentistry is just one example of how the field is being revolutionized. Keep up with this growing field by investing some time reading professional journals.