Importance of 3D surgical guide

Dental 3D printing solutions facilitate the production of custom products such as dental prosthetics, implants, and surgical equipment such as guides. For example, dental code for implant surgical guide is becoming a standard tool to assist in implant procedures, shortening the operation time and reducing the risk of complications with advanced 3D printing systems.

Traditional production vs. 3D printing for a dental surgery manual

Surgical guides assist in safe and effective implant placement. The oral cavity is limited space, and for the success of prosthetics, the implants must be placed precisely. The conventional thermoforming method for manufacturing surgical guides cannot account for soft tissue resistance and bone topography. Traditional methods depend highly on the doctor’s skill and require more chair time for the patient. 3D printed dental surgical guides are also customized to fit the patient’s mouth and have higher accuracy. Thanks to this, the surgical equipment is placed precisely with high geometric accuracy. As a result, processes are shorter, less invasive, and provide a less stressful experience for doctors and patients.

Thermoforming surgical guide!

  • The traditional thermoforming process for manufacturing surgical guides involves several steps to fit the focus to the patient’s tooth.
  • The whole guidance begins with a dental impression or intraoral digital scan. The technician makes an alginate mold from the dental image. Alternatively, an oral scan of the patient’s mouth provides data to create a 3D printed model.
  • The technician heats and thermoforms the thermoplastic sheet onto the cast, or 3D printed model cuts it and polishes it.
  • The surgical guide also features cuffs that reinforce the guide hole and ensure that surgical instruments and implants are directed to the correct location.
  • Practices often enter surgical guides in the laboratory and complete them in the office before surgery. Moreover, thermoforming is still common for many dental products. It is time-consuming, laborious, and expensive. Direct 3D printing of surgical instructions is an efficient, faster, and more accurate alternative solution.

Direct 3D printing

3D printing treatments that combine dental-specific software, hardware, and resins provide a faster and more efficient alternative to thermoformed dental surgical guides. The doctor sends the CAD file of the surgical guide to his 3D printer, which produces it using high-performance manufacturing resins. Manufacturing 3D printing systems tailored for dental offices streamline the production of surgical guides by minimizing the post-processing steps of grinding and polishing. Increasing the speed and production of 3D printing systems maximizes laboratory productivity.

The benefits of direct 3D printing of your dental surgical guide

3D printing manufacturing systems provide doctors with three main benefits towards greater patient comfort and reduced risk of complications:

Quick turnaround

3D printing is a faster manufacturing process than traditional thermoforming, which also involves grinding and polishing. Practitioners can deploy current 3D printing solutions on-site and directly print a surgical guide from a digital 3D model of the patient’s mouth with minimal post-processing – eliminating outsourcing for manufacturing. With quick turnaround time and production efficiency, 3D printing surgical service providers and dental laboratories can also benefit from tailor-made 3D printing production systems for surgical guide manufacturing.

Higher accuracy

3D printed dental surgical guides based on an intraoral scan of the patient’s teeth have a more precise and comfortable fit to the patient’s mouth than guides made from impressions in the traditional thermoforming process. The resulting surgical and implantation procedure is stable and has a reliable success rate. Direct 3D printing of surgical guides based on 3D intraoral scanning eliminates the need for adjustments and enables same-day systems.

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