Dental implants are one of the most integral parts of modern dental science. They’ve taken over the industry ever since the 1970’s when modern dental implants were introduced.
The idea, however, has been popular since way before, even early civilizations recognized the benefits of tooth replacement. Dental implants have been tried almost since humans have been using technology. This can be observed as back as the Mayans dating back to year 600. Archaeologists have found ancient skulls with teeth replaced by materials like carved stones, jade and even fragments of seashells.
However, despite several attempts to succeed with dental implants only a few fused with the jawbone. As centuries passed, one study led to another and in 1952, a dentist noted he couldn’t remove the titanium cylinder he had placed in a bone to study how the bone healed. This property of titanium came to be called “osseointegration” which simply translated to “bone fusion”. This would form the basis of the invention of modern dental implants.
The concept of dental implants was initially introduced for people who had lost most of their teeth and had problems stabilizing dentures, largely because they had lost a lot of their jaw bone upon which the denture sits. The implants would allow the jaw bone to maintain shape and density, thus also support the softer tissue structures like gums and lips. So, in simple words, they have the ability to provide social, mental and physical well-being.
Technological advancements today have made them extremely democratized and continuous innovation. A great example lies in 3D Printing, a revolutionary change to the industry.
The 3D Printer has the ability to take in a broad range of data via X-Rays and imaging to create perfect implants from scratch. This finished product is highly accurate and yet faster than the traditional process.
Making a dental implant is a lengthy process. One of the several steps in creating a surgical guide that fits over the patients existing teeth and gums. Once the exact location of the dental implant is decided, the guide is 3D Printed, which allows the dentist to know precisely where to place the implant. The measurements are incredibly small and thus the guide is very important and must be made with great accuracy. Thus when dentists can produce their own surgical guide in the comfort of their own office or clinic, it makes the whole procedure much more efficient.
3D printing is also making major developments in other dental fields like that of braces.
With its contribution to the field of dentistry, we can surely say a 3D printer can definitely put a bright smile to your face!
With regards to teeth braces, the high-cost of selective braces being made according to each patient has drastically changed, as 3D printers allow the control of strength and general quality of the object, thus enabling dentists to provide patients with low-cost braces with a high degree of accuracy due to the cutting-edge scanner technology involved. In the end, one can conclude the increase in precision, convenience and reduced time in surgery and lower-costs (such as with teeth braces and dental implant cost), to be attractive features in shaping the dental industry through 3D printing in the near future.
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