Dental implants are already a remarkable technology, but in the future we will likely see them become even more impressive as additional technologies are utilized to increase the speed, accuracy, and longevity of the procedure. Among these technologies, 3D printing is already showing its ability to transform the procedure, thanks to the work of a pioneering dental practice in Singapore.
Dental Implant Surgical Guides on Demand
According to a press release by a manufacturer of 3D printing solutions, the T32 Dental Centre based in Singapore has incorporated 3D printing in its dental implant process. T32 uses 3D printing to create the surgical guides that are often employed in dental implant procedures to ensure the accuracy of placement and depth of dental implants.
Surgical guides are similar to orthodontic aligners that fit over your remaining teeth–or your gums in the case of people without teeth–with guide holes for the placement of dental implants. In the common method, these surgical guides are usually outsourced to a lab. Images, including x-rays, CT scans, and more, are sent to the lab manufacturer who then produces the guide. The guide is then placed over your teeth and lined up with the plan on the x-ray to ensure proper placement.
The process of manufacturing the surgical guide may take several days or even weeks, depending on the arrangement that the dental office has with the surgical guide maker. By producing the surgical guides in office, a practice can have them manufactured on-site within a few hours.
In addition, the 3D printing technology allows dental implant surgeons to create precise copies of a patient’s jaw for planning and communicating treatment to patients.
Surgical guides are one thing, but will we soon be printing dental implants? The technology doesn’t seem to be at that point yet, but it’s an exciting possibility. Being able to print implants would mean the ability to make dental implants whose size and shape was specifically tailored to your jaw, maximizing the odds of success for implants. At the very least, the ability to get custom-angled dental implants would allow for secure placement in some areas where a normal dental implant or an angled one might both miss the bone to secure it.
It is definitely an exciting time to be a dentist, and we look forward to seeing our techniques grow and change as we continue to remain at the forefront of proven technologies.
To learn more about the dental implant procedure, please call (02) 9686 7375 for an appointment at My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills today.