So, something I just discovered: when you go to the dentist to get a crown, or root canal, the guy drilling into your mouth is mostly guessing where that drill needs to be. Eeek!!!
Formlabs promises to change this though, through 3D printed surgical guides.
JP Shipley from Formlabs says that the release of a new biocompatible material called Dental SG (surgical guide), can be temporarily inserted into the mouth for implant dentistry. After taking a 3D scan of the inside of the mouth using an inter-oral scanner (which most modern dentists already have), dentists can make a 3D model of your teeth and jawline. Using this model they can then print a guide to place on top so they can practice the surgery before getting near your mouth. They could also just print a surgical guide, a drill sleeve, and go straight in! This precision will be far less harmful to the patient and will speed up healing times because of the accuracy.
The new material is the first class 1 FDA certified material for the desktop. Before this, you would have needed to buy an expensive industrial printer, but Dental SG makes it far easier for small business owners to be able to take advantage of it.
The flexible resin is more like nylon since the company altered the formula, as it was previously prone to tearing after a lot of manipulation. It is now more durable and longer lasting, and has a more pleasing matte finish.
Formlabs have also reformulated some of their standard resins to include the better material properties so that they have a better finish and are more aesthetically pleasing.
They are hoping that the Dental SG resin will be a breakthrough, will a few dentists already suggesting that the product will be amazing for what they could achieve with it. Shipley believes there is a huge untapped market where dentistry is concerned, and will be hitting up a few dental conventions later this year.