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Formlabs introduces 3-D printed dentures

Jan. 21, 2019
Formlabs has announced the availability of Digital Dentures, a direct 3-D printed dental prosthetic. 

Formlabs has announced the availability of Digital Dentures, a direct 3-D printed dental prosthetic. Tested at length with dental technicians, Denture Base Resin and Denture Teeth Resin enable dental labs and practices to produce fully 3-D printed dentures accurately and reliably.

Treatments for edentulous patients have come a long way since ancient Italians in the seventh century BC first replaced teeth with partial dentures made out of human or animal teeth. Today, 50 million dentures are produced a year globally, but only 1% of those are produced using digital tools.

Modern dentures are made from acrylic resin and other plastics. The time-consuming and labor-intensive analog workflow involves multiple patient visits and production steps. Denture manufacturing is a complex craft with a steep learning curve, and dental labs increasingly struggle to find technicians with the advanced skills and expertise required to produce them. 3-D printed digital dentures are a major step toward the overall simplification of the dental laboratory manufacturing process.

3-D printed full dentures consist of different parts for the teeth and gingiva, printed separately and unified in post-processing.

Benefits of a digital denture workflow

Using dental design software and 3-D printing to manufacture dentures offers a number of instant advantages:

  • Low-cost production: Affordable hardware allows labs to expand production without adding substantial overhead. Material costs around $10 per part for a complete denture, compared to $50 using traditional denture cards and acrylic.
  • Accurate, consistent, high-quality results: A directly 3-D printed prosthetic means fewer steps and less variability—a more consistent workflow for a quality end product.
  • Intuitive, adaptable tools: The digital workflow fits into your traditional processes today and will be much easier to teach to tomorrow’s digitally savvy dental lab technicians.
  • Simplified, fast remakes: Digital denture designs are reusable, shareable, modifiable and easy to reproduce with 3-D printing.
  • Truly custom teeth: Unlike premanufactured denture cards, digital dentures are completely patient-specific.

With an efficient, scalable workflow, intuitive hardware and software, and a substantial cost advantage over their handcrafted counterparts, digital dentures will drive better patient outcomes, provide more consistent results, and be more inclusive for everyone who needs treatment.

How digital dentures are manufactured

The Formlabs solution digitizes denture manufacturing while fitting seamlessly into traditional workflows.Although the manufacturing process to create a digital denture is different from the traditional workflow, the chairside process is very similar.

Today’s digital denture workflow begins after the laboratory pours and articulates the wax-rim and final model. A technician digitizes the model and wax rim with a desktop 3-D scanner, then designs the denture digitally and 3-D prints a try-in or the final denture.

For best practices, design guidelines, and the detailed workflow from start to finish, download the Formlabs digital denture application guide.

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