The ability to 3D print objects has revolutionized a number of industries, and the field of dentistry is no exception. The use of 3D printing in dentistry has grown exponentially in recent years, and it shows no signs of stopping. Some dental practices have avoided its use, often because they are concerned about the potential costs associated with such a futuristic technological advancement. But the truth is that 3D printing can actually be a cost-effective solution for any dental practice. Learn more about what 3D printing can be used for and how it can help your practice save money.
What Is 3D Printing Used for in Dentistry?
3D printing technology can be used to fulfill many of the purposes that dental labs are needed for today. Some of those applications include:
Orthodontic models: The clay molds that are typically used for orthodontic modeling are rapidly becoming obsolete. Instead, a digital wand can be used to scan the patient’s mouth before computer-aided design (CAD) software helps to create a 3D printed model of the teeth and gums.
Tooth repair: The same wand technique used for orthodontic models can be applied when a tooth needs to be repaired. The product needed to fix the tooth can be 3D printed with extreme precision using this technique.
Crowns, caps, dentures, bridges, etc.: A wide variety of dental implants can be created using the 3D printing method described above. It’s faster and easier than the traditional processes that are used and can produce more precise results.
Surgical aides: Custom tools like drill guides can be produced using a 3D printer at a dental practice.
The Cost Savings of Dental 3D Printing
There are several ways to reduce costs through the use of 3D printers. The greatest potential cost savings for dental practice owners is the ability to complete dental lab tasks without needing a traditional dental lab on site. That reduces startup costs for new practices and can allow existing practices to upgrade their on-site services and capabilities. It can also speed up timing for services when a practice normally outsources the work to an off-site lab. By creating select dental implants and tools on site using a 3D printer instead, practices can provide more efficient service for their patients without the wait required to use off-site laboratories.
Patients also benefit in terms of cost savings when 3D printers are used. Any additional costs to the dental practice are reflected in the bills that a patient receives. When dental practices are able to keep their costs lower by using a 3D printer, they can pass those savings on to the patient. This has the potential to boost patient loyalty and satisfaction while also giving a dental practice a competitive edge over the competition.
Is it time to upgrade your dental supplies and equipment? If so, give us a call at DuraPro Health. We can help you find the latest dental technologies and provide guidance on these new advancements in dentistry to help you update your practice.