What Are 3D Printed Dentures?
3D printed dentures are a form of digital dentures that have been made partly or completely by 3D printing. The denture base and teeth can both be manufactured using a 3D printer, or a 3D printed base can be paired with teeth manufactured using traditional methods (i.e. carded or milled).
Compared to traditional dentures, 3D printed dentures can be produced for significantly lower cost, and at much higher throughputs. In addition, the versatility of solutions on the market enable 3D printed dentures of various quality levels, from economy to premium. In this article, we’ll go over some of the main benefits of switching to 3D printing dentures, and why your lab should consider making this change.
Benefits of 3D Printing Dentures
Let’s look at the advantages 3D printed dentures offer over traditionally made dentures.
3D printing has revolutionized digital production of dentures by enabling dental labs to significantly increase production and lower costs, without making sacrifices in quality. 3D printed dentures have exceptional accuracy, as well as premium aesthetics and durability that have been well received by doctors and patients alike.
In addition, industry leading solutions come in a multitude of shades, and offer enhanced physical properties such as color stability and high impact fracture resistance.
Carbon’s state-of-the-art printers, when used with proven and industry leading denture materials, provide labs with a versatile solution for going all in on digital dentures. Whether you are seeking to print denture bases and use premium carded teeth, or fully print denture bases and teeth, Carbon has a solution.
Reduce Reliance on Skilled Artisans
3D printing technology significantly streamlines denture workflows, and helps reduce the need for highly skilled artisans that are becoming harder and harder for labs to seek out.
In contrast with traditional denture fabrication, which can require hours of manual labor from skilled technicians, 3D printed dentures are simpler to produce, and can be produced with less than half the amount of labor. This allows technicians to produce far more dentures in the same amount of time, and reduces the need for lab owners to be able to seek out additional skilled technicians in order to grow.
New and improved workflows for digital dentures have streamlined the process, reducing the number of patient appointments needed to complete and deliver a denture to the patient.
The clinician can take a standard impression and bite registration and send it to the lab to be digitized. This eliminates the need for stone and wax used in the traditional method, eliminating copy-error that occurs and resulting in better fit and comfort.
The clinician can further streamline the process and improve the fit by using the patient’s existing denture as a custom tray to take a highly accurate VPS (Vinyl Polysiloxane Impression) impression. This reference denture impression can then be scanned using an intraoral scanner and sent to the lab where the new denture can be digitally designed using denture CAD software and then 3D printed.
In contrast, traditional dentures require five appointments to complete and deliver the new denture. And if the denture is broken or lost the process starts back over, whereas 3D printed dentures are ready to wear in as few as two appointments. Plus, if you break your dentures, the lab can quickly print you a new denture using the CAD design stored at the lab.
3D printing has become mainstream in dental labs due to the ability to increase productivity and reduce costs across a range of products. For dentures specifically, moving from traditional manufacturing methods to 3D printing offers some of the highest ROI’s among all dental 3D printing applications.
In addition to saving an hour or more in manual labor per denture arch when moving to 3D printing, labs can save upwards of $50 in material cost per arch. Even at just a few dentures per day, this equates to tens of thousands of dollars in savings per year. High-speed 3D printers and efficient denture printing workflows also enable labs to boost production, enabling profitable growth for a lab’s denture business.
Professional 3D printers from Carbon, like the M2, use DLS (Digital Light Synthesis) technology to produce high-quality, accurate dentures up to ten times faster than conventional methods, while reducing the post-processing time and cost.
With traditional dentures, the patient needs to go through a lengthy process of impression work and multiple appointments in the event that they lose or damage their dentures.
If lost, digital dentures are easily replaceable since the denture exists as a digital file stored at the lab. This means a lab can re-print dentures at any time, eliminating the need for appointments and the potential for patients to be without their dentures for an extended period of time.
When to Choose 3D Printed Dentures
There are many reasons to choose 3D printed dentures for your lab, including:
- Seeking a more cost-effective way to manufacture high-quality premium or economy dentures
- Struggling to hire the skilled technicians required for manufacturing dentures using traditional methods
- Seeking to grow your denture production volumes
- Seeking a digital denture production method that is versatile and will enable you to go all in on digital dentures
Streamline Your 3D Printing Workflow with Carbon
3D printed dentures offer high-quality, improved economics, and a better experience for patients and doctors alike.
Ready to 3D print dentures in your lab? Contact Carbon now to speak to an expert about the world’s leading Digital Manufacturing Platform