During the past several years, 3D printers have gone from a novelty to a necessity for some fields. The medical field in particular has discovered multiple ways to use 3D printing to ensure better patient care.

For dentists, 3D printers can help with preparation for important surgeries and procedures, such as the placement of dental implants. Discover how 3D printing aids with prep for Singapore dentists and other dentists worldwide.

Planning a Complex Procedure

Dentists and oral surgeons have to do their surgical work within a confined space, on a very small area of the body. Sometimes, it’s helpful for them to have a 3D model on which to practice the procedure they plan to do.

If a dental implant is inserted at the wrong angle or into the wrong part of the bone, the patient can end up with an altered, uncomfortable bite. An imperfect bite can lead to other issues, including tooth wear in the wrong spots, TMJ and jaw soreness, and discomfort when chewing or speaking. That’s why it is crucial for a dentist to get the implant in exactly the right spot, at the precisely correct angle. Using a 3D model can help the dentist ensure that he achieves the perfect positioning for a dental implant.

Taking Scans of the Mouth

Before the procedure, your Singapore dentist may take a CBCT scan of your mouth. This kind of scan shows him the bony architecture of your mouth, revealing the framework of your jaws. The CBCT scan reads the bone, not dentin, so your teeth won’t show up very well on it. Your dentist will supplement the bone scan by taking an impression of your teeth and doing a CBCT scan on the impression, or by taking a quick optical scan of your teeth.

Next, your dentist uses a special kind of software to combine the scan of your jawbones and the scan of the teeth themselves. This way, he has a complete, accurate digital model of your mouth.

Printing the 3D Model

Now that the digital model exists, your dentist in Singapore can work with the model on a computer, manipulating it and reviewing it. He can also export the model as a 3D file, connect a 3D printer to his computer, and print an actual, physical model of your facial bones and teeth. This model is printable with a mid-level 3D printer. If your dentist does not want to invest in an in-house 3D printer, he may choose to print it at a local 3D print lab.

The 3D printing option is most helpful in complex cases, when there may be complicating factors associated with the placement of a dental implant. In situations where the patient needs prosthetic gums or other reconstruction, the model becomes even more vital to the success of the procedure.

Receiving Dental Implants

If you are in need of a dental implant or additional dental work, visit Orchard Scotts Dental, a trusted dental clinic in Singapore. Our friendly, experienced team is ready to help you fill the gaps in your teeth and feel confident when you smile.

Source: Dentistry iQ, February 28, 2017