At one point in time, the idea of replicating three-dimensional models of various objects by a machine would seem like science fiction. Today, 3D printing technology has penetrated its way into the field of dentistry and is proving to be a force to be reckoned with. Dental Practice Compliance has even endorsed its use
EXAMPLES OF 3D PRINTING IN DIFFERENT FIELDS OF DENTISTRY
• ORAL AND MAXILLOFACIAL SURGERY
Oral and maxillofacial surgery is very complex and requires high precision. With 3D printing, a dentist can generate the patient’s information through imaging and scanning. With that information, a dentist can create a digital 3D model of the affected area that has to be operated on. The digital models will help a dentist to properly analyze the part that is going to be operated on before commencing the surgery. A 3D model can be printed to help the dentist create cutting drills that will be used for the surgery. A surgical guide will also be developed from the 3D models to ensure neighboring muscles and bones are not damaged during the surgery on the affected area. To ensure perfection, a dentist can practice the same surgery on the 3D models before going to the actual patient.
Artificial parts are required to replace missing parts of a person’s tooth, skull or jawbone, and they are normally referred to as prostheses. They can be made from a wide range of materials like silicon and porcelain. The teeth of the patient’s parents are scanned with small cameras to create a 3D model of a jaw. This 3D jaw is then used to create a flawless prosthesis for the teeth that were damaged or missing.
• ROOT CANAL
Root canal infections are usually examined with X-rays by a dentist, which only give them a one-sided view. However, with 3D imaging and scanning, a dentist is able to look at the roots from a multi-directional perspective. This gives them a better understanding of the problem and how to solve it. 3D-printed root canal guides assist in the removal of the pulp tissue that was damaged, thus providing accurate results.
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