Digital impressions and clear aligners with a 3D printer

One of the big things I wanted to be able to do in my own office was implement cutting edge technology.  3D scanners have been around for a bit now, but the next phase of this is 3D printing within the office.  In this blog post I am going to explain the 3D digital workflow with the Medit scanner and Sprintray Pro Printer, and why it is so cool!

Prior to 3D scanners we took impressions.  You may remember the tray with goopy material that sometimes flowed down the back of your throat and may have made you to gag.  It’s also very messy!  Instead of the traditional impression, we can now take a digital impression with our Medit scanner.  This is almost like a small camera that scans your mouth and creates a digital model of your teeth.  We can then view your digital impression on the computer and evaluate your teeth and bite.

If you only need a retainer, we will simply print your model and make you your retainer.  You can take that model home and anytime you need a new retainer you can bring it into the office and have a new retainer in about 15 minutes.

If we need to make adjustments to your teeth, we have two options; Invisalign or another clear aligner.  If you are looking to get Invisalign, we can scan your teeth and send it out to be processed. While I would still be designing your treatment plan, we would rely on Invisalign to make the trays and mail them back to us.  A less expensive option would be making your clear aligner trays in our office. The whole process is pretty quick.  A scan takes a few minutes, uploading and making the changes take about 10-15 minutes and then it takes another 20-40 minutes to print your models depending on how many versions we need.  Then we can make the aligner trays on those models that you can take home that day, or usually the following day depending on how many need to be made.

All of that to say that in about an hour we could have delivered your very first aligner tray and have you on your way to a straighter smile!  Not only is this option usually less expensive, it’s also much faster since we are not waiting 3+ weeks for your trays to be delivered in the mail.

I am excited to see how much easier this digital workflow gets as the technology progresses.  This is just the beginning and we are excited to adapt with the changes as they come!

Next blog post is super informational for many people as we will be talking about orthodontic relapse, when your teeth shift after getting your braces off, and how we can fix it!



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