The Future Of Dentistry: Print Your Own Teeth!

Posted on: 27 January 2015

Are you considering consulting a prosthodontist in the hope of restoring a damaged or missing tooth?  If so, you're probably concerned about how the dental work will affect the way that you look post-procedure.

Traditionally, dentists have been able to produce computer simulations to show patients the results of proposed prosthodontics and to help to explain the likely outcome of procedures.  But now there is a 'new kid on the block' in the form of the 3D printer.  

3D print technology

Simply put, 3D print software takes a scanned image of the target object, which is then interpreted by the printer.  The printer builds a three dimensional model of the object by building it up in thinly sliced horizontal layers until the complete object is formed.  The finished product is an exact replica of the original scanned subject—in this case, your teeth.

So, what can you expect?  Well, the process is painless and simple as far as dental patients are concerned.  To start with, the prosthodontist will take impressions of your mouth, and these will be used to create plaster models.  A digital scan of the models is made and input into a computer where a special software program allows the dentist to plan the proposed procedures.  This means that they can effectively do the work virtually before you even step into the surgery.  The dentist then prints the results using a 3D printer and uses the resulting model to explain to the patient exactly what the procedure will involve, and what the end result will look like.    

The traditional method of producing wax dental models is extremely time-consuming and often requires the patient to make numerous visits to the dental clinic.  A 3D model takes less than three hours to create and the result can be tweaked and adjusted as many times as necessary without the need for the patient to even set foot in the dental clinic.

The technique can also be used to print individual teeth.  This means that the surgeon can spend as long he needs examining the teeth without the need for the patient to be in the chair for long periods.  Less time in the chair not only means less anxiety and discomfort for the patient, but also less expense on consultation fees!

In conclusion

As yet, the resin used to create the 3D printed models is not approved for use as a permanent fixture in human mouths.  However, it's surely only a matter of time before your dentist will be able to print you a brand new set of teeth!  For more information, contact a specialist like MDS Dental Specialist - Dr Boris Cherkasski.