3D printing has changed manufacturing processes and has contributed significantly to how products are made. From design to printing, nothing is lost. It is the holy grail of resource use and material efficiency.
In dentistry, the technology is slowly transforming the work of not only dentists but also manufacturers and the economy as a whole. 3D printing for dentistry is indeed here to stay.
It is not surprising that the most robust market for 3D printing currently is the dental market. Now, prosthetic, orthodontic, and other dental parts can be manufactured using this novel technology.
Industry analysts have estimated that the annual contribution of the technology to dentistry has reached over $4 billion. The ease of securing an orthodontic part or an implant, for instance, has made dentists’ work even more promising.
Bringing Manufacturing Jobs Back
The costs of 3D printed dental parts are not only affordable but also bringing back jobs that were lost to cheaper, hand-made parts manufacturers overseas. In fact, over half of U.S. dental laboratories closed down during the last few years. Only about 6,500 are operational today.
But with 3D printing, it appears that domestic dental parts manufacturers are on the heels of a massive business rejuvenation.
3D printed dental parts are made fast. If you need a mouth guard, a crown, or braces, you only have to go to your dentist or orthodontist, and not wait for several weeks to get them. A dentist scans your teeth, saves the digital file, and sends them to a dental lab where the part will be printed. A night guard alone can be printed in 45 minutes.
Dentistry work requires precision in every task. With 3D printing, precision is greatly advanced with the use of the most efficient digital and manufacturing tools.