In recent years technology companies have been working hard trying to build printers that can print in 3-D. These printers essentially would be given raw materials like wood or metal and then could be programmed to print a chair. It’s a faster and more precise way to mass produce products and if refined enough the process could even be more cost efficient than current measures.
And now with the new developments in this 3-D printing technology, a company has been able to build one of these machines. But instead of this printer being able to print a chair it can print a replica of human bones. These of course are not actual bones, but they have the look, feel and characteristics of actual bones. And now that this has been developed experts believe that this could be the future in crown technology. Many experts believe that this will even be the logical next step up from the current standard of dental crowns which is the CEREC same day crown.
The printer was developed by Washington State University and represents a whole new way of looking at dental prosthesis. According to the researchers, the material that the printer uses can actually be paired with real human bone in the prosthetic. And if this is done correctly the printer material can function as an infrastructure for the real bone, allowing the real bone to grow and actually create new bones for the teeth. And this material will eventually dissolve after real bones take its place, which so far in the research has caused no side effects to patients.
So far results on tests with rabbits and rats in laboratories have proved promising. The authors claim they have had successful trials of the bone like material on rats and rabbits. WSU’s Susmita Bose, a co-author of the study and a professor at the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering says that she believes doctors and dentists may be able to order custom made replacement bone tissue in a matter of only a few years.
“If a doctor has a CT scan of a defect, we can convert it to a CAD file and make the scaffold according to the defect,” Bose says. CAD stands for computer aided design, which is what is already currently used to aid in the creation of CEREC crowns. The CAD system uses a computer to take digital pictures of the mouth and map out the locations and shapes of teeth in the mouth in order to make custom fit crowns and dental prostheses.
The technology comes as part of a joint effort between several different fields of study like chemistry, biology and engineering. The researchers involved first spent a year optimizing the previous technology in 3-D printing which could print metal. Using the metal printer as a guide, they could then optimize the technology to print the new bone-like material.
In the studies the researchers found that the fake bone material had already supported the growth of new bone material in a matter of only a week. We hope that this new tehnology can get out on the market that fast too! This new way of doing crowns could be revolutionary to the field of dental medicine. This could allow dentists like Dr. Wells to not only create a beautiful looking smile for their patients, but also help them make that smile out of their own natural teeth.
If you are interested in a new CEREC same-day crown please visit our contact us page or call 704-759-0908.