Why I Invested in 3D Printing 1

Chonway Tram, DDS Kaio Dental Rancho Cucamonga, CA

with Chonway Tram, DDS

Improving Treatment Capabilities Through Permanent Restorations

When Chonway Tram, DDS, decided to become a practice owner, he chose to start a new business from scratch rather than purchasing an existing one.

“I wanted to open a practice that would cater to my philosophy and allow me to take care of patients the way I see fit,” Tram says of Kaio Dental in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

“Our vision is to provide our patients with quality dental care and options. The idea is to do things better, faster, and sometimes more affordably for patients while always providing the best quality care possible.”

Why I Invested in 3D Printing 2

Ten years into practice ownership, Tram says it has been challenging to build a reputation in the community, but he finally is seeing word-of-mouth referrals flow in. “Patients are finding us, as opposed to us searching for them and marketing to them,” he says. “That is a blessing.”

Patients are finding Tram’s practice in part because he invests in the latest technology to offer them state-of-the-art treatments, such as 3D printed permanent restorations using Pac-Dent’s Rodin Sculpture. With its nanohybrid ceramic formulation, Rodin Sculpture possesses superior mechanical characteristics and esthetic properties that allow for the production of lifelike permanent restorations.

“The Rodin line of resins includes a number of great options, such as Rodin Denture Base, Soft/Hard Splint and Rodin Guide, but Rodin Sculpture is what really shines,” Tram says.

“The ability to print a material that is considered permanent, with ceramic filler, great color retention, a high level of accuracy, and excellent success rates is so impactful.”

Rodin Sculpture is FDA 510k cleared as a Class II medical device and fulfills all necessary regulatory requirements for use in both permanent and temporary dental restorations. Its best-in-class radiopacity provides superior X-ray clarity, while its highest concentration of true ceramic fillers ensures maximal fracture resistance and minimizes repair visits.

Tram utilizes Rodin Sculpture most for veneers—including the no-preparation variety—and onlays, as well as for crowns in certain situations. He handles the digital design and the staining and glazing himself—using Rodin All-Purpose Glaze—while his assistants manage washing and curing. From anesthetization to final delivery, he estimates the process takes approximately 90 minutes. Unlike with milling, he can print multiple restorations simultaneously. “For many patients with recurrent decay, we are performing quadrant dentistry and treating multiple teeth,” Tram says. “When we can still offer that short of an appointment time in those situations, that creates immense benefits for both the patient and the practice.”

Perhaps the most significant benefit, Tram says, is the fit of 3D printed restorations. “I know it will be perfect,” he says. “I know the margins will be perfect. Even with no-prep veneers, the mechanical retention that is obtained without try-in paste is remarkable. I do not need to worry about anything popping off. I know that from the time I design a restoration, the anatomy and fit remain so true to that design that I am delivering a better-quality restoration than a typical direct Class II or mesial-occlusal-distal restoration.”

Minimal or no preparation is viable because of the strength of the material. Rodin Sculpture exhibits 160- to 182-MPa flexural strength and a 6,500-MPa flexural modulus, along with fracture toughness of 1.4 ± 0.12 MPa m½. “The material is super strong, and no patient likes aggressive tooth preparations,” Tram says.

“For onlays, Rodin Sculpture is much stronger than a direct restoration. It still has that flexural ability that can accommodate the bite, but it is strong enough to not chip or crack like direct restorations often do.”

Esthetically, Tram says that just a bit of glaze makes Rodin Sculpture restorations lifelike. Rodin All-Purpose Glaze is a biocompatible, Class II, light-curing resin that has been meticulously designed to deliver a stunning, glossy finish. “It has a very natural color; it is not just blasting out white,” Tram says. “These restorations can go anywhere.”

Any time Tram has feedback or questions, Pac-Dent has been there to provide support—an essential factor for any digital dentistry product. “I like that Pac-Dent is a California based company,” Tram says. “Their team is very in tune with what dentists like and use. They are on the ground. I can reach out to them and usually get a response within a couple hours. Because there are so many types of resins on the market, support is really important with these products. Having someone to guide you through the first time is critical. Pac-Dent has some of the best support in the business.”

Importantly, the Rodin line of resins can be used in various 3D printers. Tram uses an Ackuretta SOL to print his restorations. “We are getting close to the point where 3D printed resins will replace traditional dentistry,” Tram says.

“Pac-Dent is making major strides toward that end by making their Rodin resins available as open-source materials so they can function on many types of printers.

“Getting their product on the market and making it available to as many dental professionals as possible is helping people see that this is the future of dentistry. This is amazing stuff.” Tram encourages any dentist who is reluctant about venturing into 3D printing to simply try it. “We are at a juncture where 3D printing is getting to be more mainstream, so I recommend at least getting a basic introduction,” he says. “It opens entirely new doors in terms of what is possible.”

For Tram himself, reaping the benefits of 3D printing is validating his decision 10 years ago to open a practice from scratch and do everything his way. “With this tool added to our arsenal,” he says, “we can treat teeth better and be more conservative about the way we approach things. We can treat patients the way they deserve to be treated.”

Learn more about Rodin Resins at Rodin-3D.com


Article submitted by Pac-dent

Why I Invested in 3D Printing


Published in CatalystQ4 2023.

Category: Merchandise, Technology

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