Inside Dentistry
October 2019
Volume 15, Issue 10

Fast and Accurate In-Office 3D Printing

Walter Renne, DMD, on the SprintRay Pro

Walter Renne, DMD

I strongly advocate for the use of digital technology in dentistry because of the power, predictability, and speed that it provides. Sophisticated 2-dimensional smile design software has transformed the way that I treatment plan and communicate with patients, and 3-dimensional CAD software lets me visualize and edit my work from any perspective or at any level of magnification. I can quickly achieve ideal contour and esthetics while using relatively simple yet exacting tools to ensure that occlusion and function are properly maintained. In addition, the ability to make real-time adjustments to patients' smiles as they give input is impactful. However, the true power of these techniques is not fully realized until a patient is holding a model in his or her hand, or better yet, he or she is wearing a provisional try-in.

The process of 3D printing and rapid prototyping will actualize what you design on the screen and bring the value home for the patient. Along with an improved esthetic outcome, the precision of CAD/CAM technology will demonstrate your attention to fit and function so that your patients can feel excited and confident about the treatment you deliver.

Although 3D printing is relatively new to dentistry, there is already a broad array of great applications. Some of the most popular are making in-office clear aligners, surgical guides, wax-ups, provisional restorations, models, occlusal guards, and dentures-the last of which is my most common application.

I have used a number of 3D printers that are popular in dentistry, but I recently began using the SprintRay Pro, and this particular machine stands out in a couple of key ways. The first is in operability. Digital dental technology can be intimidating, but this machine is extremely easy to use. The front panel has an intuitive user interface, and it feels very "plug and play." The software can automatically add bases to my intraoral scans and instantly have them ready for printing. This bypasses the most difficult and time-consuming step of 3D printing. The second way that the SprintRay Pro stands out is with its remarkable speed and surprisingly large capacity. It can produce many parts quickly, especially for a machine with such a small office footprint. You can print more than 20 arches with great detail in 1 hour and 40 minutes, making it fantastic for clear aligner bases. SprintRay provides options to use resins from other manufacturers, which is not possible with many other printers. I especially like the multitude of biocompatible tooth-colored materials available; this enables me to print large provisional prosthetics, dentures, and trial smiles for my patients.

I cannot imagine practicing without the digital tools that I use daily. They help me maximize the ingenuity and creativity that it takes to be a dentist, and I put a lot of effort into helping others learn the same techniques. Having an excellent 3D printer like the SprintRay Pro is a critical element of this approach.

Key Takeaways

1. A breakthrough projector and resin tank combined with a larger build platform enable unprecedented throughput

2. Easily close intraoral scans without the need for third-party software and autodetect issues before you print

3. With industry-first advances in projector technology, the SprintRay Pro is up to three times faster than its predecessors while offering improved accuracy

4. Intuitive touchscreen controls and contextual instructions managed by a 6-core CPU make learning curves a thing of the past

About the Author

Walter Renne, DMD
Associate Professor
Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina

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