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The Next Big Thing in Digital Dentistry


In-office dental 3D printing helps improve the efficiency of forward-thinking practices all over the world. By leveraging existing technologies that exist in digital dentistry, 3D printing enables better responsiveness to patient needs, significantly reduces manufacturing times, and opens up new treatment options. With low operating costs, minimal maintenance, and user-friendly design, SprintRay products make it easy to bring digital dentistry and 3D printing together in your practice.


Digital Dentistry and 3D Printing


Broadly speaking, digital dentistry is understood as a set of technologies for digitally capturing and manipulating patient impressions. It also involves a state of mind, a curiosity for and willingness to invest time and money in new methods. For those who don’t mind upsetting the status quo, digital dentistry provides workflow flexibility, exciting new technologies, and a superior patient experience.



The 21st Century Digital Dentist


Existing Digital Technology

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  1. Intraoral/ bench top scanner
  2. Dental CAD software
  3. Cone beam scanner (optional)
  4. In-office milling machine (optional)

3D Printing

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  1. SprintRay Pro 3D printer
  2. SprintRay Pro Cure Post-processing
  3. RayWare Pro CAD software
  4. Dedicated support for when things don’t go to plan

Integrating The 3D Printing Workflow

Implementing 3D printing into the dental practice has never been easier. Digital dentistry technologies such as intraoral scanners and dental CAD software easily integrate with SprintRay products thanks to the universally-accepted .STL file format for 3D models. Once you’ve left the messy impression trays and stone dental models behind, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without in-office 3D printing.


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In-office Treatment Design

For maximum speed and flexibility, design dental appliances for treatment in your office using the dental CAD software of your choosing.

Partner Treatment Design

Leverage your existing lab relationship or find a design partner to take care of this step for you, sending you digital files that are ready for print.

3D Printing Technologies in Digital Dentistry


Digital dentistry is largely served by a type of 3D printers that fall under the umbrella term stereolithography. These printers use light to cure photosensitive, liquid resin. Broadly speaking, there are three ways to deliver that light, each with its own advantages and drawbacks.


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DLP Projector

Projector-based Stereolithography

  • Long operating life
  • Highly accurate (+-30um)
  • Fast print speeds

The technology used in DLP 3D printers is the descendant of what you might find projecting your home theater system. Projecting in a wide arc that reaches the entire resin vat at once, DLP printers are low maintenance, accurate, and very fast, making them perfect for digital dentistry.


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Laser-SLA

Laser-based Stereolithography

  • Smooth surface finish
  • Slow print speeds
  • Complicated system
Like a consumer laser pointer, the light source in laser-SLA printers is a tiny pin dot of light. This pin dot reflects off of a rotating mirror and into the resin vat, drawing each layer as it goes. Because it must trace each part, laser printers are much slower for large jobs.

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LCD Panel

Masking-based Stereolithography

  • Smooth surface finish
  • Fast print speeds
  • Costly, frequent repairs
Just like your smartphone, LCD printers use a small LCD screen to deliver light to the resin vat. These printers are very similar in principle to DLP, but can be very cheap to produce. However, the LCD screens in these printers are often consumable, requiring frequent replacement.

The 30-Minute 3D Printing Workflow

Here’s why DLP is right for digital dentistry.


While the ability to produce dental appliances in-office is revolutionary to digital dentistry, the speed of an individual 3D printer can make a substantial difference. A practical way to measure the outcome of this speed is to measure its output via the 30-minute test, which shows both the on-demand printing speed as well as the overall throughput of the printer. Because of its bespoke DLP projector, SprintRay Pro can produce a full platform of dental arches in around 25 minutes.

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SprintRay Pro

Thanks to its easy touchscreen interface, swivel hood, and magnetized build plate, 5 minutes is all that it takes to turn the printer around for another job. For a more rigorous test of overall speed and throughput of SprintRay Pro and its competitors, read our in-depth blog post on the subject.

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Laser-SLA competitor

Laser-SLA printers use a pin-dot of light to cure photopolymer resin. While this results in clean surface finish, laser printers experience extremely slow print speeds, making it unacceptable for the needs of digitial dentistry.


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LCD competitor

LCD printers often utilize a smaller build plate due to the size constraints of LCD panels. While they have high printing speed, they require frequent, costly light source replacement.

 
 
 
 
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Cutting-edge Digital Dentistry Powered by SprintRay

The SprintRay 3D printing ecosystem is designed for the unique needs of dental professionals. With SprintRay as your partner, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in dentistry has never been easier.

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