Listing by SmartTech Analysis as “one of the most stable and fastest growing opportunities for 3D printing technologies” before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, dental 3D printing was expected to reach $3.1 billion in 2021. With dental 3D printing being such a critical AM application, we asked several experts in the field for their predictions on what will happen with 3D printed dentistry in the coming year.
Formlabs launched its dental business unit in 2019 and offers high-performance 3D printing for dental labs, practices and orthodontic practices, with multiple 3D printer and resin options, learning resources and service plan dental. In 2021 alone, the company validated its Fuse 1 benchtop SLS system for dental 3D printing, introduced biocompatible dental resin, and announced a new feature in its PreForm software that will directly convert oral scans into 3D printable dental models. .
“Dental practices have been slow to invest in digital impression technology, but the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of this critical first step in digitization due to the benefits of instant sharing of patient records. Once patient impressions go digital, 3D printing is no longer an option for downstream workflows, but a requirement,” Sam Wainwright, dental product manager at Formlabs, told 3DPrint.com . “Since 2016, Formlabs has seen a 460% increase in printers sold in the dental industry, and 2022 will be a pivotal year for 3D printing growth as dental practices and labs look to have manufacturing fast and on-demand for these all-digital workflows.. With affordable and easy-to-use 3D printing becoming even more valuable through constant material and software innovation, the dental industry is rapidly moving towards full digitization. Soon, 3D printers will become commonplace in the dental industry.
Although the world has slowed considerably during the pandemic, the dental AM segment has started to recover rapidly and continued to make positive headlines in 2021, as Stratasys launched its compact, multi-material J5 DentaJet printer, Materialize released a software module specifically for dental AM and SprintRay launched a dental resin and post-curing unit. Sandvik has acquired a medical and dental 3D printing company, Japanese manufacturer Roland DGA has returned to the 3D printing game with a new dental 3D printer, and Graphy has developed material for directly 3D printed dental aligners.
Desktop Health, the healthcare business launched by Desktop Metal last year, received FDA clearance for a proprietary resin for printing dentures in 2021, and also added the 3D printer to Shop System binder jet and cobalt chrome to his dental portfolio. The unit offers a simple and fully integrated 3D printing workflow for digital dentistry, including two 3D printers and immersive training on both, over 60 validated materials, and rapid prototyping software. As Michael Jafar, President and CEO of Desktop Health, put it, “The dental practice is going digital.”
“With nearly 50% of American consumers last dental visit before the pandemic (2019 or before), the dental industry will feel like an unfamiliar place for patients as they return in the new year,” Jafar told 3DPrint. .com. “With the increase in digital health within the primary care practice, the dental practice will embrace new tools to enhance the patient experience. Tools such as chairside 3D printing of crowns, dentures/teeth (for example) will be increasingly used, among other tools that provide highly personalized experiences while reducing the need for revisits.
Didier Deltort, president of HP’s personalization and 3D printing business, also believes that AM will inject personalization into the dental practice.
“In 2022, we expect a new era of mass customization enabled by digital manufacturing to disrupt a range of major industries, drive innovation and create new value. Industries primed for disruption include the highly personalized health and wellness sector. We believe this is a huge growth area as people seek better health outcomes based on their individual needs,” Deltort said.
“Of course, we’ve seen companies like SmileDirectClub in the US and Impress in Europe continue to push the boundaries of oral care by using 3D printing to manufacture highly personalized products at scale.”
But, when it comes to pushing the boundaries in regulated industries, it may be necessary to exercise caution to ensure safety.
“Due to the highly regulated nature of the medical and dental industries, the adoption of new and disruptive technologies is occurring at a more gradual pace. As a result, we typically don’t see game-changing changes year over year, but rather steady implementation over a period of years,” explained Menno Ellis, EVP, Healthcare Solutions, 3D systems. “With that in mind, we see a good continuation and acceleration of current trends over the next year; many of which point to the growing use of 3D printing in space.
Speaking of trends, Jamie Stover, Senior Director of Dental Lab Applications at Carbontold us that in “2022 and beyond,” there were a few “closely related” ones to watch.
“We may continue to see significant staff shortages in dental labs, despite an enormous amount of work due in large part to the growing demand for digitally produced removable appliances such as night guards, bite splints and dental prosthesis.
“We predict that the adoption of everything digital – digitally produced workflows, dental records and devices – will only increase, especially as traditionally trained dental lab technicians disappear from the workforce. The industry as a whole must redouble its efforts to recruit and train a new generation of tech-savvy technicians capable of using the digital tools of additive manufacturing. Along with this new generation of technicians, new and better materials will continue to be developed for 3D printing and we hope to see rapid and continued progress in creating flexible partials.
Carbon offers what he calls a “robust 3D printing solution for orthodontics” with its DLS technology, including multiple materials and the L1 printer, which is often used by dental labs to manufacture transparent aligner models. In fact, last year the company partnered with digital oral health platform Candid to 3D print models of transparent dental aligners.
Another company that understands the importance of 3D printing for orthodontic aligners is Nexa3D; its co-founder, chairman, and CEO Avi Reichental told us it’s one of the “highest-profile use cases for 3D printing.” He said dentistry “has never been a one-size-fits-all industry”, but dental labs are “seeing more and more use of technology”. Nexa3D introduced its NXD200 large format 3D printer for dental labs in 2021, in addition to partnering with Keystone to advance dentistry through 3D printing and announcing a partnership with the powered manufacturing software startup by IA Oqton to launch new dental software to meet demand for custom 3D printed braces and aligners.
“As we reported in the last edition of Nexa Level magazine, the American Dental Association reports that a dental appointment takes about 52 minutes. This in-office appointment time could be used to 3D print patient-specific devices, such as night guards or crowns. Our dental-specific NXD 200 printer can 3D print 16 dental molds using our xModel 2505 material in a 45-minute print job. It can help condense the usual three-appointment schedule — initial visit, consultation, adjustment — into a faster route for patients to get on with their lives,” Reichental told 3DPrint.com.
“Dental labs that understand the benefits to their patients and their own timelines will continue to invest in their own training and equipment. We will see more collaborations with dental materials and technology partners in the coming year. »
Dental 3D printing is just one of nine critical AM verticals that will be covered in our next Additive manufacturing strategies summit, hosted online and in person in New York City from March 1-3. Topics in this session will include trends in dental 3D printers, low-cost mass customization in dentistry, using technology to improve the patient experience, and more. You can register for the hybrid event here and learn more about 3D printing in the dental industry, as well as eight other important AM sectors, from a wide roster of experts.