Objet 3D Printer Digitizes Dentistry for Albensi Labs.
It's easy to think that perfectly restored teeth should simply be "a perfect set of pearly whites". After all, aren't all teeth bright white and regularly shaped? Far from it. In fact, creating precise dental restorations that look and fit like natural teeth is particularly challenging. But, in the past few years it has become easier, due to the use of digital technologies - primarily digital scanning, processing software and 3D printing (view video).
Albensi Laboratories, a leading dental laboratory located near Pittsburgh, PA, was among the first to recognize that 3D printing could enable it to produce high-quality restorations in significantly less time. In December 2010, it started using an Objet Eden350V 3D Printer to print models based on digital dental impressions created from intra-oral scans of patients' mouths.
Accurate dental models in less than half the time
The move to digital dentistry, with Objet 3D printing, has enabled Albensi to improve the accuracy and quality of its dental restorations. An additional advantage of digital dentistry has enabled the laboratory to take on more business, without adding staff.
Albensi now provides its customers with precise, true-fit restorations in 2-3 days, instead of 5-7 days. Instead of laborously pouring models by hand, Albensi now sets its Objet Eden350V 3D Printer to print models overnight, unattended.
Don R. Albensi, C.D.T., the owner of Albensi Laboratories, says that using the Objet 3D printer has transformed the lab workflow and it has brought similarly dramatic benefits to the lab's customers. "Now, prior to the patient coming in, the dentist can examine the die and check the marginal integrity of the case as well as the contacts, which are two major areas that dentists have to deal with when fitting restorations," says Albensi. "It normally took about 5 to 7 days to produce a restoration. We've developed it now to a digital workflow that we can create restorations within 2 to 3 days…The first model printed I'll never forget… I was amazed at the quality."
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