The market for dentistry in general has been constantly expanding. Especially here in the United States, people have come to value their teeth and their appearance more and more. It is estimated that by 2018, the orthodontic supply market alone will be worth 1.1 Billion. That is just for supplies (braces, retainers, molds). With the introduction of 3d-printing to this industry, the precision of these pieces of hardware has increased significantly. The discomfort factor has also sharply decreased. The limiting factor in this industry is typically the number of patients that can be seen which is driven by discomfort levels, number of visits and disposable income. However, 3d-printing speeds this process up significantly and puts discomfort out of the equation.
The dental market alone is worth an estimated 119 billion dollars. There are more specialty dental products than ever. Perhaps you have already seen the 3d-printed toothbrush that perfectly cleans your teeth in 6 seconds. Fixing cavities, getting crowns and replacing teeth has always been viewed as a painful, long and expensive process. Don’t get me wrong. It has improved significantly over the years, but it is far from perfect. With the ability to 3d-print metal and practically any plastic in existence, crowns and fills for cavities can actually be 3d-printed to exact dimensions without the need to drill into your teeth to fit the procedure. The procedure is actually tailored to you.
So what do all these 3d-printed innovations have in common? They all just require a simple scan of the inside of your mouth. This information is stored digitally and can be sent to a 3d printer to create practically any product you may need based on your needs. Whether it be the toothbrush, a cap for a cavity, or a model to fit a new retainer. The big question is when will one 3D printer be able to print all of these 3D printed innovations?