TRU Dentistry Austin now offers 3D printing.
“You can have a new bridge or denture made during your appointment, instead of waiting days or even weeks,” says Austin Dentist Samantha Hollinger, DMD. “You can even preview the color and look, rather than leaving it in the hands of lab techs.”
It all starts with a digital scan of the teeth and gums, which is much more comfortable and precise than conventional molds.
If a tooth has been extracted – or knocked out in an accident – the tooth and your mouth can be scanned so that an exact copy can be printed in the form of a bridge.
“We always want to replace a lost tooth as quickly as possible, to preserve the gap and the bone structure,” notes Dr. Hollinger. “If the space is left open, adjacent teeth will start shifting to fill that gap, creating a misalignment in the bite, and deterioration of the jawbone in the area of the missing tooth.”
Replacing a missing tooth is a hardship for some patients due to the time and expense involved, but an in-office 3D printer offers a faster and less expensive way to get that treatment and restore your full smile.
Few things are more horrifying than a broken denture. With the 3D printer, a scan of your mouth gives the computer a digital impression. The scan allows the dentist to get precise measurements for a better fit, and a denture can be ready in about an hour.
There’s no waiting weeks with no teeth while restricted to soft foods until a lab makes your dentures. Dr. Hollinger can begin printing and replacing your denture right in the office so you can get your smile and your chompers back right away.
If you break a large portion of tooth, and the roots are still intact and in good shape, it can be capped with a crown. Typically, the dentist will place a temporary crown over the tooth to protect it from further damage until the permanent crown can be created and placed. Temporary crowns may be similar in color to your teeth, but won’t be a perfect match or a perfect fit because they are pre-manufactured and not customized to your mouth.
With the new 3D technology, Dr. Hollinger is able to get a scan of the broken tooth and the surrounding teeth so she can design and print a temporary crown customized just for you.
In addition, if you need orthodontic (teeth straightening, for example) or restorative (implants, for example) treatment, Dr. Hollinger can use the 3D printer to mock up your smile so you can see what you’ll look like after the treatment. That way, changes can be made before the actual treatment so you get the smile you want.
“This is really exciting for us as well as our patients,” says Dr. Hollinger. “Whether we’re printing a bridge, a denture, or a temporary crown, we can get a better fit and a better appearance more quickly and at a lower cost. It’s a win-win that I think will be changing the lives of our patients.”
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