3D printing capabilities bring exciting possibilities to the world of orthodontics and our office is proud to be on the cutting edge of this very patient friendly innovation. 3D printing involves the process of making 3 dimensional solid objects from a digital file using an accretive printer that lays down 3 dimensional forms as it prints.
Our office uses a revolutionary iTero Element video scanner that captures the teeth and jaws in 1:1 relationships and makes a digital file called an .stl file. The digital 3D models are then saved and formatted and sent to the 3D printer where the layer-by-layer design of an entire 3D object is formed. Orthodontists have the job of creating the perfect smile, healthy and functional occlusion, and ideal facial balance. The use of the 3D printing is revolutionizing the orthodontic process by using the advantages of digital information over the traditional processes used in the past.
For example, gone are the days of goopy alginate (think runny putty) impressions for most applications. Our digital scanner makes all of the information we need to create study models, Invisalign case submission, and most appliances used in orthodontic treatment.
After a 3D scan is complete, it is then transferred to the computer to get 3D images of our patients’ teeth. These models can eliminate physical impressions and can aide in creating functional appliances, retainers, custom wires, brackets, and aligners.
3D printing allows for superior accuracy and speed. It helps to make our office more efficient by decreasing delivery times, reducing the number of appointments needed to perform desired treatments, and improves the quality of the services we can provide the community.
If you have any questions about 3D printing, please feel free to ask us to explain this process further or ask us to demonstrate the iTero Element and what we can make using it at your next appointment.
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. Delaney, Plunkett, Ralstrom, Makowski, Thanasas, Ker, and Associates
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan have specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. The ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs reaches beyond our facility, which has treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options. We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.