One of the more exciting technological advancements in recent history has been the emergence of 3D printing, which has become a technology that our dentists near Anaheim and dentists around the world have had the opportunity to take advantage of. But first, a little about what 3D printing is in the first place.
What is 3D Printing?
3D printing is a new manufacturing process that uses special printers to create three-dimensional parts in layers of material (usually plastic) from what most know as a CAD file (short for computer-aided design)
Using the 3D CAD file, a 3D printer’s software reads its data as many many 2-D layers, which are all building blocks on top of one another to eventually create a 3D object.
You might wonder, what does this have to do with dentistry? Actually – a lot. 3d Printing has helped dentists improve treatments in a number of ways.
- Repairing or replacing a damaged tooth: One of the many amazing dental technologies coming out of 3D printing enables dentists to scan your mouth with a specially designed “wand” in order to create a detailed 3D image that empowers dentists to digitally design the required tooth repair.
- Helping with specific procedures: While many of the applications for 3D printing are geared towards fixing or repairing teeth directly, sometimes the technology can also help your dentists get the job done in other ways. For instance, 3D printing can also help produce the drill guides needed for completing specific procedures.
- Producing dentures, crowns, caps, and bridges: Previously, the only way for a dentist to create an orthodontic mold to replace or repair teeth – the patient had to bite down on a piece of gooey clay. Today, this isn’t exactly the case. With 3D printing, dentists can scan the teeth instead, which can make the process much easier for some patients. The only difference between this example and the previous one is that the type of material used for the tooth is slightly different.
Have questions about your teeth? If you’re in the Anaheim area, our dentists in Garden Grove can help.