TIPS November/December 2022

The Power of 3D Printing – TIPS November/December 2022

The Power of 3D Printing – TIPS November/December 2022

Benefits of In-House 3D Printing – Pages 8-11 


In today’s competitive and rapidly changing dental market, many clinicians are faced with making numerous changes to the way they treat their patients. Today’s patients cannot be treated the way they were five years ago. Patients are well-informed and have raised the expectations of how dentistry is done — no waiting weeks for a restoration and no waiting for a second visit for a device to be delivered. Now, more than ever, accuracy and repeatability are the standard by which offices are now measured.

3D printing addresses these concerns with minimal upfront cost and is one of the easiest ways for practices to improve efficiencies and add services. The costs that are incurred can be quickly recouped and start increasing profitability for the practice. As an example, an office adopted Occlusal Guards into their practice through 3D printing rather than the standard lab approach. Through a lab, the average cost is $175. With an in-office 3D printer, the design cost is $25, the resin cost is $5, and the labor time is roughly $10, for a total cost of $40 and a $135 savings per unit. In the event a patient loses the appliance, a reprint is even less. For the patient, the benefit of having their appliance in hand the same day is priceless. It saves time, increases case acceptance, and eliminates the need for additional scheduling.

Currently, the most common application for 3D printing is orthodontic aligners and occlusal guards, but there are more applications available that add value for patients. For instance, a surgical guide can be modeled and printed in 30 minutes. Guided surgery, without argument, is safer, faster, and more accurate than with traditional methods.

Adding a 3D printer to the practice makes the digital workflow more effective and profitable while increasing comfort and convenience. Most importantly, it provides better care for patients with greater accuracy of final restorations and appliances. Because of this, it’s already seen incredible growth. In 2020, the global dental 3D printing market was $2.7 billion. It’s expected to reach $9.7 billion by the end of 2027. By 2030, about 80% of offices will have 3D printing capability.

3D printing is not only the future of dentistry, it is making real and valuable impacts on practices today.


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Steve Lunde
Southern Division Sales Director