Feb 16, 2016 | By Benedict
Global engineering and technology firm Renishaw has partnered with dental implant manufacturer BioHorizons to development LaserAbutments: custom-fit metal 3D printed abutments for false teeth.
3D printing technology is now commonly used to create customized implants for many different parts of the human body, including teeth. The collaboration between Renishaw and BioHorizons, announced on February 1, adds a further additively manufactured dental solution to the market, enabling dentists “to offer custom abutments for restorations providing exceptional function and aesthetics, while maintaining high value for money”.
In the field of dentistry, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all abutment. The small connecting element, used to affix false teeth to the gum of a patient, will fit more comfortably and securely if tailored to an individual’s oral anatomy, which is exactly what Renishaw and BioHorizons are aiming to do with their tailor-made LaserAbutments. The bespoke design of each CE marked cobalt chrome piece helps to combat “angulation challenges”, and provides wearers with a more comfortable fit.
Each LaserAbutment is 3D printed using Renishaw’s hybrid manufacturing technology. A 3D image of a patient’s mouth can be obtained using Renishaw Dental Studio (RDS), which allows dental professionals to “combine high speed light scanning with the accuracy of contact scanning” to capture implant positions, or with selected open CAD systems.
Once a scan has been obtained, the 3D image can be sent digitally to Renishaw’s manufacturing plant, where engineers will 3D print the tailor-made product with the finest occlusal details. Each 3D printed abutment is then precision machined to achieve the right fit for screw-retained implants. Dental labs without access to CAD facilities can also send a physical dental model via post to Renishaw, whose staff will perform a scan on the model before creating the 3D printed abutment in the same way.
Each 3D printed abutment is made from CoCr, which has been biocompatibility tested according to ISO 10993: a series of standards for the biocompatibility of medical devices. Standard porcelain false teeth can be bonded to the surface of each abutment without a separate coping or crown, and the screw-retained crown of each implant can be temporarily removed for hygienic maintenance or dental examinations on adjacent teeth. Each 3D printed LaserAbutment comes with a pre-polished emergence profile, which can help to save lab time, and a titanium screw.
“This is yet another case of metal 3D printing innovation dismantling the limits of traditional manufacturing methods and opening new horizons for complex geometries and mass customization of parts, at a very attractive cost,” explained Ed Littlewood, Marketing Manager at Renishaw's Dental Products Division.
Renishaw’s dental business ventures represent just one application of the global engineering company’s 3D printing expertise. The firm recently got its teeth into the world of competitive sailing, becoming an official supplier to the Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) team in the America’s Cup, and also manufacturers its own line of 3D printers. The newly announced dental collaboration marks BioHorizons’ first exploration into the world of 3D printing.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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Alvaro wrote at 2/17/2016 6:42:20 PM:
Great! But there are technology to build 3 D printers that can print dental implants using biomaterials