Dr. William Martin, from the University of Florida, spoke with Dr. Chiraz Guessaier about 3-D printing in implant dentistry.
3-D printing has had the biggest impact on the surgical side of implantology as surgical templates can be printed and used for implant placement.
Additive manufacturing is an advantage as it is not as wasteful of materials; however, it can have added costs as the printers require frequent maintenance and printing time can vary based upon the machine being used. 3-D printing has given implant dentistry the ability to manufacture surgical templates that would not have been able to be made otherwise. Overall quality printers, material and time costs impact the cost-effectiveness, presently.
The adoption of 3-D printers has evolved greatly over the years and enables clinicians to provide higher quality care to patients. As the use increases, the technology will become more main stream and as a result, costs will decrease. Although there is a distinct benefit to having 3-D printers, it is unlikely that this technology will completely replace CAD-CAM solutions.