Jan 16, 2017 | By Tess

One of the most promising areas for 3D printing within healthcare is in the field of dentistry. That is, the technology is not only being used by renegade DIY orthodontists, but dentists all over the world have started integrating 3D printers and other 3D technologies into their practices. 3D printing, as it turns out, has proved extremely useful for such applications as making patient-specific bleaching trays, bite guards, and surgical guides, as well as manufacturing customized dental implants in a much more time-efficient manner.

64-year-old Israeli cancer patient receives 3D printed jaw implant

Recently, a team of Israeli dentists met with dentists in the Philippines to discuss the establishment of a medical cooperation between Tel Aviv and Manila’s top dental professionals. As part of the cooperation, Israel’s advanced dental 3D printing technologies would be expanded to the Southeast Asian country.

Israel, which boasts one dentist per 1,400 people (according to the National Center for Biotech Information), is considered to be one of the world’s leaders in dentistry and dental technologies. In recent years, these technologies have come to include many 3D processes, including advanced 3D modeling and 3D printing. In addition, many Israeli dental offices practice implantology. In the case of AB Dental, an Israel-based dental company, they are able to provide dental implant tools to over 60 countries thanks to 3D technologies.

AB Dental CEO, Ofra Bar-Shalom, explained that dentists from all over the world can request their services by sending in CT scans of their patients, which the company then use to carefully design 3D printable dental implants. Once the design process is complete, AB Dental sends a package back to the client, which includes a surgical guide, implants, prosthetics, tools, and even teeth.

“We believe we are bringing the future to the implant industry, which will change the implant process around the world and, soon, the technology will arrive in the Philippines,” commented Bar-Shalom, who also went on to explain that these advancements are largely due to the ability to 3D model and 3D print in medical-grade titanium materials using laser sintering technology.

One of the dental company’s most successful implants is the U implant, which is already commonly used throughout Israel. The U implant is used in cases where a patient’s jaw has been broken or is boneless, whether from an accident, war injury, or disease. “AB Dental has built a toolbox, with courses and training designed to help distributors all over the world increase their business and provide knowledge of the procedures to the dentist, allowing them to succeed with their efforts and attract more patients,” Bar-Shalom said.

Raz Bar David, AB Dental’s marketing manager also mentioned that Israel’s dentists also helped a number of civilians who suffered from facial injuries in the Syrian conflict. Missing or damaged jaw or facial bones could be reconstructed using metal 3D printing technologies, he explained: “The technology is growing so fast, we predict that it will achieve 100% application in the next 10 years.”

During their visit to the Philippines, 120 Israeli dentists visited Manila, Boracay, and Pangasinan, where they discussed and lectured on such topics as bone augmentation, bone implants, and 3D implants. The events also featured lectures by dental professionals from Portugal and the UK. According to Dr. Carlos C. Buendia, the president of the Philippine Dental Association, Israel’s dental professionals are seeking to establish a partnership with the Philippines. If the partnerships are established, it seems likely that 3D printing dental technologies will become further dispersed around the globe.

 Israeli Ambassador Effie Ben Matityau (center), AB Dental Technology CEO Ofra Bar Shalom (fourth from left), PDA President Dr. Carlos Buendia (sixth from left), AB Dental Marketing Manager Raz Bar David (fifth from right)

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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