Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. What message is your smile sending? Crooked, misshapen or missing teeth are a blow to your self-esteem. Studies indicate that those with straight, white teeth are 38 percent more likely to be perceived as smart.
Dentistry and 3D Printing
It’s hard to believe that 3D printing was invented almost 30 years ago; yet it has only been in the last four or five years that the technology has been refined. Slowly and steadily, 3D printing innovations are transforming all industries, and dentistry is no exception. Digital 3D printers are becoming more affordable. Previously, medical 3D printers were so expensive, their use was restricted to large hospitals, major dental labs or university dental schools. Now that has changed. Think of it as similar to the way large, flat screen TVs and smart phones have steadily become more affordable. Over the years, the technology has improved and refined, making it easier to create more and more complicated objects. Today, they can reproduce everything from house keys to organ tissue. 3D printing works by taking a scan of what you want to reproduce, sending the scan to the printer, and then using specialized, biocompatible material to print it. While a regular printer produces an image by using a back-and-forth motion, 3D printers utilize a much wider range of motion—side-to-side, front-to-back, and up-and-down. The material is placed layer by layer, creating a product made to exact specifications.
Advantages of 3D Printing
What does this mean for you? It means you can take advantage of the several benefits 3D printing offers:
1. 3D printers enable dental work to be completed on-site without having to send a mold to a lab.
We’ll just come out and say it: Molds are yucky. Taking an impression is time-consuming and uncomfortable. Up until now, that was the best way that a dentist could get an accurate guide. Now, the mouth is simply scanned using a specialized “wand.” The information is fed directly into a computer, which creates a 3D image. This enables the dentist to carefully examine each minute detail, ensuring there are no gaps or inaccuracies.
2. They are much faster –no “goop required!
No one likes to fill their mouths with the sticky goop that typically accompanies creating dental molds. Dental Express uses intra-oral scanning to get a concise view of your mouth. That information is used to create the clear trays that will straighten your teeth. The bottom line is you spend less time in the dental chair and more time showing off your new smile.
3. Incredible detail---3D printers can create accurate replicas down to 6 microns.
How small is that? Well, for comparison, there are roughly 25,400 microns in an inch. A grain of sand from Coronado Beach is somewhere between 100 to 2,000 microns. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? Now imagine how this attention-to-detail can help your smile!
4. Precise retainers and invisible braces
If you have a teenager, chances are braces are in his or her future. The number of North American teens who need some type of orthodontic treatment has nearly doubled to 80 percent. Not only do 3D printers provide the needed trays in record time, but they are also easily replaced if they’re lost.
A new smile is now more affordable than ever!
Now, Dental Express makes it easier and more affordable than ever to get a straight, star-quality smile with SmileCorrect: a clear align therapy where our dentists print trays onsite, tailored to your specifications. This reduces what was once a $5,000 to $8,000 treatment to a total cost of $3,600---requiring only $200 a month for 18 months. Our SmileCorrect treatment has no credit check, charges no interest, and because all trays are 3D printed in house, it’s easier to replace missing or damaged trays. The dentists and health care professionals at Dental Express would love to start you on your journey to a straighter smile! Contact us today!
Sources: Lee, Dan P. “Metal Mouths.” New York Magazine. Online. National Association of Dental Laboratories. “Digital Dentistry: Is 3D Printing Revolutionizing Restorations? Online. Woo, Hee-Sun and Seok-Hun Kim. “A Study on Applying a 3D Printer to Healthcare; Dentistry Area.” Indian Journal of Science and Technology.