A revolution is underway in dentistry: 3D printing. Today, temporary crowns and bridges are already produced using 3D techniques. Important challenges remain before permanent teeth can be printed.
“It begins with the intraoral scanner that replaces the traditional dental impression,” explained Gil Lavi, Vice President for Sales and Business Development at Roboze, a young Italian 3D printing company. The digital files from these scans are the first step in a digital workflow terminating in a printed dental element.
Today, models, aligners and temporary crowns and bridges are produced using 3D techniques.
Permanent teeth are a much greater challenge, said Lavi, because today’s materials and the medical approvals that are needed for long periods of in-mouth placement are not yet available. And printing ceramics, in the context of dental applications, is still in its early stages and currently not mature enough for printing the final end parts, meaning the final patients teeth.
Nevertheless, Steffen Mueller, General Manager for Dental Solutions at Stratasys, a leading company in 3D printing, sees huge potential for 3D printing in dentistry.
We identified it as a key market and expect it to double by 2020.