The International Dental Show is currently happening this week in Cologne, Germany, showcasing all the newest technology in the industry. One of the biggest stars of the show is Stratasys Ltd’s Objet260 Dental Selection 3D Printer.
The Objet620 is able to produce hyper-realistic models of teeth and gums by printing with multiple materials simultaneously on a single tray. Compatible with all PolyJet dental materials, the Objet260 produces lifelike colors and textures, allowing users to print surgical guides and test implants, bridges, and orthodontics for functional evaluation.
Used to replace the roots of missing teeth, dental implants are often made of titanium, and can irritate the gums of a patient if not installed properly. Because the Objet260 is able to print with soft, pliable material similar to that of human gums, dentists are able to ensure that implants will not damage the tissue once installed.
The printing of surgical guides with contrasting color and texture for tooth, root, and nerve anatomy will allow dental surgeons to practice and prepare for surgery, as well as help prevent nerve damage. 3D printed surgical guides are used outside the dental field, as well; surgeons can use them to prepare for face transplants and organ surgeries.
While 3D printing is still incapable of creating false teeth for patients to wear, it would appear that the technology to do so is not very far off. Already, doctors are using 3D printers to create functional prostheses and splints for bone fractures. With time, materials appropriate for use as false teeth is sure to be added to the 3D printers’ repertoire.
Approximately the size of an office copier, the Objet260 is much larger than other 3D printers on the market today, but because it is able to print with multiple materials at once, it will increase productivity and profitability.