According to Forbes magazine, the state of dental 3D printers looks strong and profitable. SmarTech Publishing, in its recent market research study titled, “3D Printing in Dentistry 2018, An Opportunity Analysis and Ten-Year Forecast,” predicts the dental 3D printing market opportunity will reach $9.5 billion by 2027.
The addition of 3D printers promises to make the digital workflow more effective and profitable for the dental community while increasing patient comfort and convenience. Most importantly, it provides better care for patients with greater accuracy of final restorations and appliances. 3D printers are finding a niche in the dental industry by providing one more digital option in the workflow process.
3D Printers are certainly not new, having occupied the medical space since 2008 with the fabrication of the first 3D printed prosthetic leg. Yet, it continues to revolutionize the medical community with the ability to fabricate tissue and organs in addition to prosthetics, implants, and models.
Fast forward to dentistry.
A surgical guide can be modeled and printed in 45 minutes. Guided surgery, without argument, is safer; faster; and more accurate than with traditional methods. Currently, the most common application for 3D printing is orthodontic aligners and occlusal guards. A patient could have their occlusal guard in hand on the same day it is treatment planned! That saves time for the patient, increases case acceptance, and eliminates the need for additional scheduling. You may find more new patients filling this newly-found time in the schedule as 3D printers create their own internal marketing for the practice. Impressed patients refer family and friends.
Applications for 3D printing include:
• Stone models
• Denture bases
• Partial denture framework
• Diagnostic wax-ups
• Surgical guides
• Orthodontic aligners
• Occlusal guards (Night guards)
• Dental implant abutments
3D printers have also become extremely reasonably priced, with entry models starting as low as $4K, making them a great addition to CAD/CAM technology solutions. In addition, new applications are constantly emerging making 3D printing an exciting time for the future of dentistry!
Wondering how 3D printing can support your practice? Reach out to your Burkhart Account Manager to review return on investment (ROI) based on the procedures you provide.
Category: Practice ConsultingBack to Articles