The digital dentist

ToothmoldOne of my neighbors is a dentist who does cutting-edge teeth implants. A few months ago I was chatting with him at a social gathering, about how digitalized dentistry has become. Specifically, I we were discussing 3D printing, and whether he thought he would ever be able to print teeth implants in his own office, instead of ordering them from a specialized lab. It turns out that the mechanical and durability constraints of implants make this unpractical, at least with 3D printers that are affordable enough for a practitioner.

But, he said, scanning teeth instead of using clay molds (this horrible thing patients have to gag on for several long minutes), is already happening. Not is this infinitely less disagreeable for the patient, but it also saves days of shipping, need for storage, etc. Continue reading

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