How 3D Printing Can be Applied to Dental Implants

05 Aug 2020  |  No Comments
3D Printer With Finished 3D Printed Dental Implant Bridge

3D printing has been a huge step in the right direction for dental technology, making processes more accurate and faster – two benefits that are revolutionising the experience for both dentists and patients.

Dental implants are nothing new, and are used to restore function and aesthetics to the mouths of patients missing their natural teeth. The process requires thorough examinations and imaging, to determine if there is enough bone in the mouth to insert the implants, as well as the location of vital anatomic structures and accurate dimensions of the implant.

Find out how 3D printing is making the process a little easier on everyone involved.

The dental implant process using 3D technology

3D printing is quickly taking the place of computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) to create dental implants, veneers, crowns and more. The concept of 3D printing works in a similar way to the old inkjet printers people used to have at home, but instead of using ink and paper, 3D printers use raw materials such as plastics and composites.

While inkjet printers would apply one layer of print to the paper, 3D printers apply multiple layers one-by-one, in a process known as “additive manufacturing”. Let’s take a quick look at how this process is applied to implants.

  1. Scanning: The 3D printing process begins with an intraoral scanner, which examines the inside of a patient’s mouth. This stage can use either contact or non-contact scanning.
  2. Digital display: The results of the scan are then digitally projected onto a screen. This uses specialised software to recreate an accurate 3D digital image of surfaces in the patient’s mouth. This “surgical guide” is an exact replication of the patient’s mouth, and can be placed over their jaw to give dentists an accurate guide to where they should place the implant. This digital imaging step is largely replacing CAD and CAM technology, as well as plaster impressions that many patients find uncomfortable.
  3. Physical model creation:  Once the 3D image has been created, it can then be transformed into a physical model creation.

The benefits of 3D printing for implants

3D printing has proved to be innovative in the dental industry as well as the wider health care industry. There are some great benefits for both the dentist and the patient.

  • Accuracy – dentists are provided with exact replicas of the mouth, meaning they are able to design devices that better fit the individual patient – with higher degrees of accuracy.
  • Reduced turnaround time – the production of the surgical guide is faster than with older methods, so the overall treatment is carried out in a smaller space of time.
  • Cost savings – the use of surgical guides and 3D printing delivers a cheaper process, and dental clinics can pass these savings onto their patients.

Contact Marsfield Dental Clinic

To find out more about our tooth replacement solutions, including metal-free implants, get in touch with us. You can call us on (02) 9887 1961 or email for any assistance or to book an appointment.

"The information in this website may be simplified in nature and does not replace professional advice. Risks and consequences may apply to any treatment. Always seek a second opinion when considering complex treatment. A referral to a specialist may be required in certain situations. Quotations can only be given after proper clinical assessment and so pricing details cannot be given over the phone."

COVID 19 Update - Oct 2021

 All our members of staff - Dentists and supporting assistants - are fully vaccinated. We are a COVID-safe practice and we are open for all general dental treatment needs and services.