The dental industry has made great advances in recent years thanks to the incorporation of additive manufacturing. There are a number of applications for the technology in the sector, including but not limited to the development of dental models, prostheses, implants and crowns. For these reasons, the increased democratization of dental 3D printing is generating great market growth. According to the Markets and Markets study published this year, dental 3D printing is expected to generate $7.9 billion by 2027, an annual growth of 20.2%. This is becoming increasingly evident if we look at the large number of clinics and specialized centers that are betting on the integration of 3D into their day-to-day operations. One such example is the West Lake branch of the Dental Doctor clinic, located in Suzhou, China, which has turned to the expertise of the manufacturer RAYSHAPE to optimize its production processes and offer more precise solutions.
The main obstacle in dentistry, which has also been highlighted by the Dental Doctor clinic, is related to the manufacture and delivery of dental implants. Dental implants are safe, efficient and precise type of implantations in the patient, serving to replace missing teeth. Implants have strong mechanical properties and do not damage the rest of the natural teeth that make up the dentition. However, the problem lies in the high costs and the long manufacturing and integration time until they reach the patient. When patients have good oral health and only need one or two implants, it is a relatively simple process. But when it is a major reconstruction, such as half of the teeth or the entire denture, it requires much more time, both for implantation and recovery.
Dental 3D printing expected to reach $7.9 billion by 2027 (photo credits: RAYSHAPE)
After this problem was detected, the Doctor West Lake Dental Clinic began to evaluate different possibilities. The goal was clear: to shorten surgery and model fabrication times, as well as reduce the accompanying surgical trauma. As we know, resin 3D printing is one of the leading additive methods in the dental industry, followed by metal fabrication. Specifically, the solution to the problem was found in the Shape 1 Dental 3D printer, from the manufacturer RAYSHAPE, with which they were able to create the surgical guides. Based on DLP technology, the machine is equipped with a UV light and has a print volume of 144 × 81 × 200 mm (5.76 × 3.2 × 7.87 inches). Combining high speed with high throughput at a reasonable price, this solution is ideal for integration into dental clinics and laboratories. It also includes the ShapeWare 3D printing software in dental version. Dr. LV Haoxin, from Dental Doctor clinic, comments, “The quality of the 3D printed parts from RAYSHAPE is very good and the accuracy is what we expected.”
With the adoption of the digital dental implant system equipped with RAYSHAPE’s DLP technology, the West Lake clinic is optimizing the entire process of surgical guides and dental implants tailored to each patient’s needs. Dr. LV Haoxin explains, “The design of the guides is effective in reducing surgery time and decreasing postoperative reactions. When a patient needs to be treated to restore missing teeth, we can use this technology to design the virtual ideal implant before surgery. We then make a choice and judgment in the software about the axial direction, depth, site distribution, diameter and length, and even the strength and shape of the implant. Finally, the precise surgical guide is used to construct the junction between this restoration and the implant, and precisely replace the design to achieve the desired result.”
Integrating RAYSHAPE’s DLP additive manufacturing systems has enabled the Dental Doctor clinic to leverage the benefits of the technology in its business. For example, at the operative level, it is now possible for the clinic to simulate how to place the implant and determine the position, depth and orientation with the help of the 3D printed guide. According to Dr. LV Haoxin, thanks to additive manufacturing, digital implantation adopts minimally invasive technology in a short time, so that patients can complete the surgery in a comfortable, relaxed and painless manner. More generally, we can highlight the significant time savings thanks to AM when creating guides, even if they are complex or require more iterations. The increase in the quality of the parts is also a key aspect to guarantee reliable, precise results with no margin for error. Another important point is cost optimization, brought about by increased customer acquisition. Thanks to faster processes, experts can focus more on customer service, and as they attract more customers, this translates into lower amortized cost of consumables and equipment.
With this, Dental Doctor has become one of the first dental clinics in China to initiate technological, intelligent, and digital projects. The Shape 1 Dental 3D printer has been upgraded to the Shape 1+ Dental version, with new and advanced features that allow better development of dental models. RAYSHAPE’s 3D printing solution has provided patients with a distinctive and intelligent treatment experience, and the performance has exceeded expectations. If you want to learn more about the manufacturer’s technology, feel free to visit their website HERE.
The Shape 1+ Dental 3D printer has been upgraded with many new features (photo credits: RAYSHAPE)
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