3D Printing: More Than Just Replacing Stone with Dr. Tim Anderson


In recent years, advancements in 3D Printing technology have revolutionized various industries, and dentistry is no exception. 3D printing is a cutting-edge technology that has become the next evolution of how we provide care.  However, this technology is not merely a replacement of traditional stone workflows, but an entirely new way to increase predictability, improve clinical outcomes and increase practice profitability.

Accurate and Detailed Models:

Accurate models, photography and 3D scanning are the foundation for treatment planning and communication with patients. 3D printing enables the creation of highly detailed and precise dental models at a level we have never seen before.  We can literally print orthodontic brackets and wires on the model.  Not to mention, if anything would break or be lost, we can simply “re-print” that model. Go are the days of storage bins of old stone lab cases!

Enhanced Patient Communication:

Visual aids play a crucial role in patient communication. Dental 3D printing enables the creation of “Emotional Trial Smiles” that allow patients to see, touch, and even test drive smile makeovers.  This improved communication method leads to increased patient satisfaction and confidence in treatment planning.

True Prototyping:

As we level up and move from single tooth dentistry to full mouth, the risk factors also level up. Many time the stresses of lab cost and patient expectations can get in the way.  Dental 3D printing offers the most predictable way for patients to test out the important aspect of any smile makeover… the fit, function and esthetics.  This creates a more cost-effective solution to demystify the complexities that these cases bring with them.  Ultimate it reduces barriers that prevent us and our patients from saying “Yes to the Best”.

Efficient Digital Dentures:

Traditionally, the process of creating dentures involved multiple appointments, long waiting periods, clinical inaccuracies, and patient/dentist frustrations.  With 3D printing, we can all but eliminate these struggle by producing in-office solutions that are exponentially more efficiently and predictable than traditional stone and wax workflows. Patients can now benefit from quicker turnaround times without compromising on the quality and durability.  Dentists can now enjoy the the predictability and team integration of the digital denture workflow.  Ultimately this leads to “fewer well planned visits” to increase profitability and patient/dentist satisfaction.

Dental 3D printing is not just a new thing in dentistry, it is a critical pillar in modern digital dental workflows.  The technology offers numerous benefits ranging from increased efficiency to enhanced patient outcomes to increased practice profitability.  However, the technology is only as good as the team that implements it.  Learning the 3D printing workflows and empowering team integration is key to successful 3D printing integration.  Tim to ditch the stone and unlock your practices potential.

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