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3D Printing in Dentistry

Three-dimensional printing was once an extremely expensive and complex undertaking. Now, 3D printers are available for home and office use and dentists around the world are finding new and exciting ways to use this technology to improve patient outcomes.

About this Guide

This guide is intended for dental practitioners and researchers looking to learn more about and stay up to date on the applications of 3D printing technology in dentistry. Within this guide, you will find:

  • Scholarly journal articles on topics related to 3D printing in dentistry
  • Information on the activities of other dental schools and research teams in this area
  • Ready-to-use files and software applications to help you incorporate 3D printing technology into your dental practice
  • Textbooks available online and in-print through the Dentistry Library
  • Relevant reports from news media and industry sources
  • Social media accounts with curated resources on 3D printing technology and its applications in dentistry

Introduction to 3D Printing in Dentistry

Three-dimensional printing was once an extremely expensive and complex undertaking. Now, 3D printers are available for home and office use and dentists around the world are finding new and exciting ways to use this technology to improve patient outcomes. Another name for 3D printing is additive manufacturing.

There are two primary types of 3D printing used in dentistry:

  1. Sterolithography (SLA): in dentistry, primarily used for clear aligner fabrication and digital models
  2. Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS): used to create high-quality metal appliance frames and dental crowns

Some of the dentistry-related items you can make with a 3D printer include:

  • full & partial dentures
  • dental implants
  • dental surgical guides
  • orthodontic appliances

Contributors

Carla Murphy, Brenna Williamson, Usman Malik