Dental surgery: it’s one of few thoughts that can be guaranteed to spook just about anyone. And if you need to have oral surgery, I’d be willing to bet you want to be sure your dentist has done all the necessary work to ensure that the procedure goes exactly as intended — and that all comes down to planning and preparation.
One of the best ways to ensure a perfectly orchestrated procedure is with the use of the proper tools before, during, and after it’s performed. Dental implants must be inserted very precisely; there isn’t exactly extra wiggle room in a space as small as the mouth for an “I guess that’s close enough” type of fit.
3Shape, a Copenhagen-based firm that focuses on developing and marketing 3D scanners and CAD/CAM software, offers the latest in high-tech solutions to the dental industry. Their 3Shape Implant Studio software provides an integrated platform through which dentists are able to precisely design dental implants and, drill guides. Drill guides, as their name suggests, demonstrate precisely where drilling is to be done, directing the actual procedure to be performed in a predictable and speedy manner, which is important to both doctor and patient.
These drill guides are now able to provide for an even faster and more precise experience, including the time it takes to create them, thanks to 3D printing. 3Shape has teamed up with EnvisionTEC, which offers professional-grade 3D printing solutions across a variety of applications including dentistry, to produce 3D printed drill guides. EnvistionTEC, with corporate headquarters in Germany and a US HQ site in Dearborn, Michigan, is now able to produce drill guides designed on 3Shape Implant Studio using their Perfactory Micro DGP (Drill Guide Printer).
“We are very pleased to offer our dental and dental lab customers a proven solution for manufacturing surgical guides now using the EnvisionTEC Micro DGP combined with 3Shape’s Implant Studio software,” said Doug Statham, Director of Dental Channel Sales in North America, EnvisionTEC, “a solution that combines the latest products from two leading providers in digital dentistry, forming a powerful and affordable manufacturing tool.”
STL models of the drill guides are produced using Implant Studio software, then 3D printed using the Micro DGP equipment with Clear Guide material. This means of production reduces costs associated with traditional means of subtractive manufacturing, as we’ve been seeing in applications across the board. The Micro DGP 3D printer is, by design, an easy-to-use desktop machine intended for plug-and-print usage and including automatic self-calibration.
“EnvisionTEC Micro DGP and its Clear Guide Materials have created a successful integration with our Implant Studio software,” noted 3Shape’s Vice President of Orthodontics and Implantology, Allan Junge Hyldal. “The seamless integration enables more and more dental professionals to take advantage of precision-printed drill guides during implant procedures. Drill guides that are produced accurately and at a cost-effective price.”
The Micro DGP 3D printer is offered for sale in several countries across the world, including the US. Some of its specifications include:
- Footprint: 11” x 10” x 24”
- Weight: 24 lbs
- Electrical Requirements: 100-120V 3 Amps / 220-240V, 2 Amps
- Light Source: LED
- Data Handling: STL
- Build Envelope: 4” x 3” x 4”
- Resolution in X and Y: 0.0039” (98 µm)
- Dynamic Voxel Resolution in Z (depending on material used): 0.002” to 0.004” (50 µm to 100 µm)
- Build Speed: Up to 0.79″/ hour for full envelope
Let us know what you think about the use of 3D printing for this use in the dental field. Tell us your thoughts in the 3D Printing Dental Surgery Drill Guides forum thread over at 3DPB.com.
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