Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
by Dr Craig Courtney, Courtney Dental, Townsville, QLD
We’re just dipping our toes in the water with 3D printing. We use the Asiga printer for simple things: crown and bridge models, study models, and special trays—anything that’s short-term in the mouth.
What’s good about it
So far, we’ve been having success with 3D printing. Even though we’ve been milling simple restorations, crowns, inlays and onlays for a while, printing is a whole new world.
We use 3Shape scanners to create files the printer will recognise. The digital scan is accurate, and the printed appliances come out very well. They need a little finishing once printed but patients find them comfortable.
Resin is loaded into a tray the printer uses to build the model. There are different types of resins for different types of appliances. It’s not as accurate as milling, but it’s much easier. You can also add more applications that will provide many more options.
With other printers, the appliances often get stuck to the base plate. I’ve never had this problem with the Asiga; it always comes off easy. Technology and materials are constantly improving, and I think invariably, there will be much more 3D dental printing in the future. If you’re thinking of buying a printer now, do your research and talk to people who are already using one.
What’s not so good
It’s a bit slower to print than what I expected. You also have to keep up to date with regulations in regard to the use of different types of material.