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My Dentist Loves 3D Printing–It’s Fast, Accurate, and Cheap

My Dentist Loves 3D Printing–It's Fast, Accurate, and Cheap

Written by David

May 5, 2021


As 3D printing exploded in growth over the past decade. One of the industries where it sank quick roots was dentistry. A report from SmartTech Analysis estimates that revenues from 3D printers and related software, materials, and services sold to dentists and dental labs will reach $3.7 billion this year.


This year, there’s 3D printing in my mouth.


Recently, I needed to replace an aging dental bridge. The traditional porcelain-and-metal contraption that served me for years was beginning to chip away. When it came time to create the new bridge, my dentist, Dr. Ryan Shepherd, at Uptown Dental Associates in Albuquerque, N.M., told me he would be using 3D printing – it’s stronger, less expensive, and it doesn’t take as long to produce. His assistant then put a scanning wand in my mouth and began taking images.


Here’s the iTero image of my mouth, showing the gap between teeth that the 3D printed bridge would fill. Like many dental practices, Dr. Shepherd has been using 3D printing for nearly a decade. “We started using 3D printing in 2012, though it’s been around longer. We used it for isolated cases at first. We used it if it didn’t matter how […]

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