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3-D printers could be the future of digital dentistry

By – Bad Breath Expert
Posted: January 22, 2015
SUMMARY: New developments in 3-D printer technology could alter the way we receive dental care.

Stratasys, a leading provider of 3-D printer technology around the globe, recently developed a machine that could change the digital dentistry market. The company is marketing the device, called the Objet Eden260VS Dental Advantage 3D Printer, to dental and orthodontics labs to offer more efficient and affordable dental solutions. Stratasys, being a giant in 3-D printing, has made a point of focusing on the medical and dental market, so it will be interesting to see how such advancements influence the industry overall. The printer is compatible with other dental materials manufactured by the company, including VeroDent, VeroDentPlus and VeroGlaze.

For dentists and patients, such advancements could mean lowered costs for complicated oral procedures and also more accurate tooth reproductions for veneers and stone models. All in all, patients can look forward to exciting innovations in oral health care, and 3-D printing is very much at the forefront. In a news release, Avi Cohen, the director of global dental at Stratasys, explained:

"As our most versatile 3D printing solution for the dental sector to date, this new 3D printer meets a broad range of application needs that demand delicate features or fine and complex details, while offering low cost of ownership." 

What can the printer do?
The Objet Eden260VS Dental Advantage 3D Printer has a wide range of oral health capabilities and can be used for stone models, surgical guides, delivery trays and veneers or dentures, according to the Stratasys website. Stratasys notes that the machine is about the size of a standard office copier, so it can easily fit in most offices and clinics. Ideally, the printer can be used to make accurate veneer and denture try-ins that match the color and mold of an individual's teeth. This will make it possible for dentists and orthodontists to reach a new standard in recreating teeth and add to overall efficiency.

The 3-D printer market
While Stratasys appears to have an early leg up in this field, other companies are certainly looking to get involved in this industry moving forward. According to ZDNet, Hewlett-Packard anticipates having 3-D printer technology available in 2016. Other tech firms are quickly following suit. Since HP announced its plans rather early, it's impossible to tell what impact the company could have on the 3-D printer market. Only the future can reveal what innovations this field may hold, but for dentists and patients alike, such technology is a sure sign of better patient care.