In the world of 3D printing, there has been a lot of advancements made within just the past year alone. 3D printing technology has already been used in the medical field to make new limbs and create new skin graphing materials, but technology is getting even quicker. There is a new type of 3D printing technology out on the market, which can increase the speeds of the prints by over 100 times.
One way that the new 3D printing technology will be used is to make new teeth, which is a really exciting advancements for dentists across the United States. Back in the day, you would have to get false teeth, then wait up to 2 weeks while the teeth were being made, and this was a long process that really hindered the quality of life for patients. With the new 3D printing technology, a dentist will be able to make you a new tooth within 6.5 minutes, and that is simply amazing. This fast technology comes from Carbon3D, one of the bigger 3D printing companies in the world.
There have been similar types of techniques on the market for a few years now, with the Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, CEREC, method. The CEREC method basically cuts out pieces of your new tooth from porcelain, which also has used 3D modeling and scanners. The CEREC method came out of the University of Zurich, but it’s not 3D printing like we have now, since the CEREC method used more of a sculpturing method. A lot of dentists have been using the CEREC method since 2005, but it’s still a slower process than the new 3D printing capabilities, which will be more precise and finish the tooth in a much quicker process. The 3D printing means that the dentist will be able to shape the tooth to fit your gums and mouth in a more comfortable manner, and it can actually look more like a tooth than the sculpturing method.
In just a short time, 3D printing will become the norm in the healthcare field, with competitions going on every day for companies to create faster and better techniques to print. One of the contests going on right now is to become the company to supply dental and medical prosthetic devices, and Gizmo 3D is in the race along with Carbon3D. The 3D printing from even a year ago would take a long time to do, so it was not something a doctor could whip up while you were sitting in the waiting room. There will also be clinical trials coming up using the 3D printed materials, such as for various surgical procedures.
3D printing companies are investing millions of dollars to make their printing techniques faster and better, because so many medical and dental companies are willing to hand out nice contracts for the best devices. If you think about soldiers in the middle of a war zone, having the ability to give them new limbs or fix their open wounds right on the spot is something that would be very beneficial, and it could save thousands of lives. The new printing techniques could also cut down waiting lists for patients who are needing various surgeries, could decrease the amount of time the patient is in recovery, and could even help patients live longer since the material could end up lasting for a longer period of time. There is so much advancement going on in terms of 3D printing and the techniques, that it should not surprise you if you see your dentist using the 3D printer to make you a new tooth within the next couple of years.