The use of 3D printing for dentistry in the U.S. has gained traction, as the healthcare sector has become one of many industries that have adopted the technology.
The trend continues because many dentists now realize that using it allows them to offer faster services and product delivery. Therefore, their profit margins have been registering good numbers.
Fused deposition modeling (FDM), laser stereolithographic apparatus, digital light projection, and liquid crystal diode comprise the four major types of 3D printing technology for in-office use. These types make the manufacturing process easier and faster for dentists, particularly in the production of implant surgical guides and orthodontic aligners.
By using 3D technology, the process of fabricating implant guides no longer takes several weeks. Some in-office guides can even cost as low as $20. For orthodontic appliances, the cost of software varies whether you plan to get them from a dental laboratory. Some software models, however, may cost at least $200.
Broader Use of 3D Printing
New research showed that the global market for 3D printing would reach a value of almost $18 billion by 2020. Several industries have invested more than $13 billion in the additive manufacturing process in the last four years. By the next decade, 3D printing expenses would surge to $280 billion worldwide.
In the healthcare industry, some of these investments may include 3D-printed human organs, such as kidneys, designs for joint replacements, and a tool that will allow doctors to seal wounds faster.
Dentists should reconsider an investment in 3D printing technology due to faster turnaround times for products and services. It may not be long before this tool can help you produce dentures and mouth guards in the office; therefore, lowering your costs and saving you more money.