MAX 3D Printer, KeyPrint® 3D Resins: Ideal for Digital Workflow
As a dental educator, John Cranham, DDS, helps other clinicians make the transition from analog to digital dentistry with one primary caveat. "Digital technologies are a fantastic clinical tool that allow us to be far more efficient, however they should not change the foundational principles of sound case planning," he emphasizes. "We still have to treatment plan for optimum esthetics, function, biology, and tooth-by-tooth structural integrity. If we have these principles in place, then scanning, virtual articulation, digital design, provisional fabrication, and the creation of final restorations are far more predictive and efficient."
As Cranham puts it, "While my fundamental principles have not changed, my workflows have radically changed!"
Cranham is a partner in Cranham Culp Digital Dentistry, which is devoted to training dental teams to solve complex esthetic and functional problems with 100% digital workflows. His workflow includes Keystone Industries' KeyPrint® Precision 3D resins, such as KeySplint Soft® and KeySplint Hard®, which he uses in conjunction with an Asiga® MAX 3D printer.
"We have been designing and printing orthotics in-house for almost 3 years now," he says. "After years of doing this with acrylic on an analog articulator, we now fabricate optimal-fitting appliances, requiring almost no adjustments, in a fraction of the time. The combination of 3Shape Splint Studio [design software] with KeySplint Soft and the Asiga MAX printer has made all the difference."
The primary advantage of KeySplint Soft dental splint resin, Cranham says, is its slight thermoplastic nature, "which allows us to drop the appliance in hot water for about 10 seconds and then seat it. We purposely design our orthotics with maximum retention, and when delivering it warm, it creates an optimum fit in the mouth. KeySplint Soft is an ideal material for appliance therapy."
"We treat a lot of TMD patients, so being able to design and print our own orthotics just as if they came from a high-end lab is huge," Cranham says, noting that patients can have an appliance within 24 hours, if not the same day. Moreover, the appliances require minimal adjustment and are immediately comfortable. "In their mouth, patients notice the smoothness."
Cranham's practice recently began utilizing Asiga UltraGLOSS™, which allows for 3D printing of clear parts with a glossy, pre-polished surface, removing the need for manual post-polishing. "UltraGLOSS trays appear to be a game-changer for making splints," he says.
As for the Asiga MAX 3D printer, Cranham likes its accuracy, reliability, and speed. He adds that it handles a broad spectrum of materials for a wide variety of applications.
For Cranham, digital dentistry "allows us to not only do everything we used to do with analog, but we can do it better and faster. It is a very exciting time!"
John Cranham, DDS
Partner, Cranham Culp Digital Dentistry