Get ready for new age dental work- 3D printed, self-cleaning teeth

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that unhygienic oral health can be easily tied to “poor living conditions, low education, and lack of customs.” Many adults have problem of tooth decay and it’s mainly widespread in low income populations, and it’s been connected to a whole host of health issues like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pneumonia, poor pregnancy outcomes and dementia. This is why for those with relatively healthy gums and teeth, to keep a strong cleaning regime, as well as frequent visits to your local dentistry similar to this dentist in Glen Rock, as an example.

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But now, everybody would be able to have good dental health and at low costs. Also your dream of having pristine white teeth which lasts longer and even clean themselves up will become true, with these 3D printed teeth having amazing qualities. Read further to get the whole thing clean and clear.


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1 What is 3D printing?

3D printing of any thing is an additive process of manufacturing 3-dimensional solid objects using a digital file. The whole process of manufacturing uses additive processes, makes an object by laying down consecutive and successive layers of the material until the whole object is created.

The process begins with a person creating a virtual design of the desired object using a Computer aided design (CAD) software or using a 3D modelling software to prepare an entirely new object or using a 3D scanner to copy any object.

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The 3D modelling software slices the final model into hundreds and thousands of horizontal layers and when this file is uploaded into a 3D printer, the object is created layer by layer. The 3D printer reads every slice of the 2D image and generates the object, merging each layer with hardly any noticeable indication of the layers, and resulting in the three dimensional object.

What is 3D printing?

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2 Printing 3D teeth

Using this new technology, some researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands have come up with a way to print 3D versions of teeth and other dental implants out of antimicrobial polymers. We may soon be seen some of the best practitioners like this dentist inner west way starting to use this new technology to create implants there and then. The resultant new teeth would be fully capable of killing any harmful bacteria like Streptococcus mutans which gather in the mouth and cause tooth decay.

Dr. Hermann and his team united antibacterial ammonium salts with standard dental resins. “The antimicrobial resins contain groups that are positively-charged and interact with the outer surface of bacteria,” Hermann said. He also added, “We designed the materials in such a way that once bacteria settle on the material, the positively-charged groups make holes in the microbes and the bacteria then die.”

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Printing 3D teeth

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3 The process of 3D teeth printing

The team printed teeth using a high standard Formlabs Form 1 3D printer and a process called stereolithographic process, which uses the method of depositing the liquid polymer into a mold, bit by bit and layer by layer, and then the resultant structure is hardened using a fine cut laser. In order to make the teeth feasible, the viscosity of the antimicrobial plastic needs to match the viscosity of the conventional ones.

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The researchers proceeded to print out teeth with both, with and without antimicrobial properties to test their new material. They then went forward and put tooth decay-causing bacteria on the samples. The results showed that more than 99 percent of the bacteria were destroyed and killed on the teeth which had antimicrobial properties, while the untreated one killed only 1% of the bacteria.

A 3D printing company called the Stratasys recently revealed a high-end dental 3D printer, called the Objet260 Dental Selection, which is capable of printing out realistic looking teeth, gums and nerves in order to generate lifelike models for dental specialists.

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 The process of 3D teeth printing

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4 Benefits of 3D teeth

Benefits of these 3D teeth could be very far fetching. It could be made available for people who live in low income areas and for people who don’t have any kind of access to doctors and dentists. Dr. Hermann says, “additional costs would be minimal, because the materials his team is using to make the antimicrobial polymer are inexpensive and readily available.”

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The researchers are now working on testing the 3D printed teeth’s long term vulnerability in order to see how long the polymer holds up. The tests will also give results on how the substance interacts with toothpaste and whether it breaks down or not. The major results of tests will focus on whether the teeth have any negative impact on the user of the teeth.

Benefits of 3D teeth

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Now only time will tell how these 3D teeth will make people extra confident while smiling!

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