Over the course of the past decade, the dental industry has been revolutionized by 3D printing . Several different applications of have been developed, from fixing broken teeth to making flossing easier. Printing is done both in the dentist’s office and in labs, and it brings a new level of speed and ease to old procedures.
In dental 3D printing, prosthetics and orthodontics have to be printed with extreme precision to ensure a perfect fit. Such accuracy is only possible through resin-based printing, such as stereolithography (SLA) and digital light processing (DLP) printers. In these technologies, printed layers of resin are solidified (cured) by a light source: a laser in SLA printers and a projector in DLP. Recently, another technology, called PolyJet, has started being used by some manufacturers, with simpler processes and superior results.
3D printing in dentistry and orthodontics is relatively new, but it’s already impressively large and is constantly growing and developing. There are seemingly infinite ways for dentists to make use of 3D printers, and the future will undoubtedly bring about even more.
In the following sections, we’ll be highlighting the main applications and industry leaders in the dental 3D printing space. But first, let’s look at the wide-ranging scope of this technology and what’s holding it back from achieving its full potential.