Read Time:4 Minute, 6 Second
This post contains excerpts from four recent articles from Advantage by Patterson Dental magazine about 3D printing technology in the dental office.
Peer Product Perspectives
We recently spoke with Dr. Parks Alexander and Dr. Mike Skramstad about the impact 3D printing technology has had on their dental practice. They both chose different machines with the help of their Patterson reps, but they have both found the technology to be transformational.
Words of Advice from Your Peers on 3D Printing
“Whether you’re just printing models or a high volume of dentures and permanent crowns, you can’t afford not to invest in this technology. 3D printing will change the way you do so many cases. It will streamline your processes, lower your lab cost significantly, and you will reap the many benefits of predictability in your treatment outcomes. It’s a win-win-win situation! It’s hard to believe that just a few years ago 3D printers were a luxury afforded only by dental labs and high-end practices. Today, advances in 3D printing technology and materials have made the modality more accessible to general practitioners. Several factors – including resolution, build volume and software – impact the cost and intuitiveness of a 3D printer.”
-Dr. Parks Alexander (owner of a SprintRay 3D printer)
“You can’t become a completely digital office without 3D printing. If you invest in an integrated solution, your staff can do 100% of the printing. When I look at purchasing new equipment for my office, the first question I ask is: ‘Will it allow me to do procedures that I could not do in-office
before, and will those procedures be efficient and productive?’ I feel 3D printing checks both of those boxes.”
-Dr. Mike Skramstad (owner of a Primeprint 3D printer)
Product & Tech Trends
Investing in 3D printing enhances treatment options and saves time
The benefits of 3D printing technology include:
- Improved patient experience. 3D printing can help you offer your patients more services, such as night guards and clear aligners, and it can also mean providing these services in a single visit. This means 3D printing can lead to more convenient and tailored patient care.
- Simplified production. With the combination of digital scanning and in-office 3D printing, you can take a digital impression and send it to a printer within minutes. Even if you opt to not do the actual printing, sending digital scans to a lab is as easy as an email using digital software and scanning solutions. Either way, technology advances in scanning and printing simplify production.
- In-office printing. Not only does integrating 3D printing make sense for practices already outfitted with digital scanning and cone beam imaging, it also saves on lab fees and shipping costs, while enabling (in some cases) same-day service. A patient can walk out with a night guard or clear aligner the same day they’re measured for it.
- Improved materials. Advancements in 3D printing mean that not only are printers better, more affordable and easier to use, even the materials are of better quality. For example, dental resins available today are more robust and reliable than traditional counterparts. Biocompatibility continues to be a key feature of medical 3D printing solutions. That means different materials can be printed using the same machine easily and quickly.
- And, of course, 3D printing is a cool technology. Patients love seeing it in action, especially when it means they’re receiving the best treatment.
3D Printing Success Story
At Patterson, we can help you decide which 3D printer to buy and also help you integrate the technology into your practice. For example, Patterson Dental helped when Insight Dental in Fargo, ND was considering introducing 3D printing into the practice. They wanted a system that allowed them to provide splints, full models and surgical guides. With all of the 3D printing options available, the practice, including Casey McLachlan, DDS, turned to its Patterson Dental representative JP McDonald for advice.
Digital Dentist Success Story
Watch a video about how Shook Family Dental worked with Patterson to build a digital practice from the ground up in Eau Claire, WI.
Their goal is to provide compassionate, patient-centered care through the most up-to-date technologies available, including 3D printing, CAD/CAM, and cone beam (CBCT).
“It just feels like we’re growing something important and special, and that’s what I’m most proud of,” – Dr. Monica Shook
“If you could replicate this, you’ll be successful.” –Patterson Territory Representative Ben Wizner