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3D printing changing the dental world



CLEVELAND — 3D printing can be seen in almost every industry in the world, from creating replacement parts for machines to custom-made apparel. Here in Ohio, Case Western Reserve University’s dental school has been investing in 3D printing as a teaching tool. 

What You Need To Know

  • Caroline Deyoe has worked on newly printed 3D models as part of her dental training
  • Dr. Keith Schneider and radiologist Dr. Ali Syed  were approved for the Sears think[box] grant last year
  • 3D printing can be seen in almost every industry in the world

Caroline Deyoe showed a procedure, not on a patient, but on a newly printed 3D model.

“The first experience that I had was in my first year, in my head and neck anatomy class. We had the opportunity to work in the cadaver lab and that’s our first introduction to this,” she said.

Deyoe is a second year dental student and had an early introduction to the dental world when she fell as a kid and damaged and lost some of her teeth.

“Having falling in elementary school with some oral trauma, and so I had to go see an orthodontist pretty early, had some teeth pulled had some appliances put in my mouth and had a really long journey to get the smile that I have today,” she said.

It was at that moment that Deyoe knew she wanted to be a dentist. Now she said she’s getting all the hands experience she needs with 3D models, something her professor, Dr. Keith Schneider, said will set her up for success.

“Patient injections, you know, our goal is to have pain-free dentistry and pain-free injections,” he said.

Schneider and radiologist Dr. Ali Syed were approved for the Sears think[box] grant last year, which allowed them to create seven customized models representing the detailed anatomy of certain patients.

“Even if they were planning for an implant, you can literally print the jaw and show that there is enough bone,” Dr. Syed said.

According to the FDI World Dental Organization, in 2019, an estimated 2.3 billion people had tooth decay worldwide and among them were more than 530 million children.

Medical plastics news research has shown that dental 3D printing provides quick and cost-effective solutions, solves problems and allows patients to get their implants to fit them perfectly, often on the first try.

It’s something Deyoe said she takes pride in.

“This allows me to visualize what I’m doing way differently. Once I practice a little bit more, it’s like easier to apply than to a person,” she said.

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