3D printing in dentistry – A small revolution

In no other medical field is 3D printing on the rise as much as in dentistry. And for good reason.

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Topic: Aligner

3D printing in dentistry

What is 3D printing and how does it work?

3D printing refers to what is known as additive manufacturing. During this process, a specific material is deposited layer by layer to create a 3D product. 3D printers can be used with metals, plastics, resins, dough or even ceramics as well as carbon and graphite.

3D printing in dentistry and in orthodontics

In dentistry and in orthodontics, 3D printing has completely revolutionised the braces market. It can be used, for example, to print jaw models to produce dental aligners and more and more patients are doing without the conventional fixed brackets. In reconstructive dentistry, even surgical templates, crowns, veneers or implants can be perfectly adapted to patients' teeth and printed out.

Dental impression with impression tray vs. 3D printing

A dental impression is an impression of the teeth made using impression material and an impression tray. The impression tray is a tool for taking dental impressions of the upper and lower jaw. The impression tray is jaw-shaped and is filled with impression material such as alginate, plaster or silicone. The tray is then inserted into the patient’s mouth. The patient bites into the impression material, leaving the dental impression. In the past, dental impressions were mainly made with impression trays and alginate.

From the 3D scan to the finished bestsmile Aligners

At your first appointment at bestsmile, you will immediately notice the 3D technology. With a so-called intraoral scanner, a complex 3D model of your teeth is created from millions of individual images – without you feeling a thing. On the basis of this 3D model, the bestsmile dentist can quickly assess whether you are a candidate for the Aligner treatment. If this is the case, your Aligners will then be manufactured in our bestsmile laboratory in Winterthur. In our lab, the tooth models are automatically 3D-printed, a hygienic PET film is pressed onto the tooth models to form the Aligners, quality checks are carried out and finally the Aligner sets are delivered to the practices. Your treatment can begin!

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What is a 3D scan?

3D scanning is the non-contact scanning and recording method of objects. The scans are needed for CAD software, which serve as the basis for 3D printing. In dentistry, 3D scanning is replacing the old-fashioned dental impression made with impression material.

Advantages of 3D technology

Lower prices

3D printing not only makes new types of products such as transparent braces possible, but it also lowers their production cost. For example, bestsmile Aligner braces are manufactured exclusively in Switzerland, which eliminates the need for expensive supply chains. This process ultimately benefits patients: bestsmile Aligner is available for a fraction of the price of conventional braces.

Shorter supply chains and more environmentally friendly

This modern technology also reduces the ecological footprint. Short supply chains through our in-house production avoid excessive CO2 emissions. Furthermore, thanks to the efficient automation technology in the bestsmile laboratory, no material is wasted. And after treatment, the Aligners can be recycled. All these aspects make our Aligners the most sustainable clear braces on the market.

At bestsmile, our expert dentists will be with you from the first appointment to the final check-up and all visits are included in the treatment. Come by and see for yourself.

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Last update: 14.09.2023


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