The battle for the global dental market is heating up with two of the biggest 3D printing companies 3D Systems & Stratasys both developing dental 3D printing solutions. The dental market is estimated to grow to $4.6 billion by 2021 according to SmarTech Markets and 3D Systems, one of the world’s largest 3D printing companies is strengthening its foothold by aggressively working towards building new products and solutions for the same.
3D Systems, on 23rd February, 2018 unveiled its NextDent5100 3D printer catering to the dental market at the LMT Lab Day, Chicago 2018 event which apparently is the largest dental event in the USA. Along with this, it also added 18 new biocompatible dental resins to the commercial market taking its complete resin assortment to a massive 30 SKUs.
NextDent, the Dutch dental 3D printing material leader, was acquired by 3D Systems in January 2017 with a view to combine NextDent’s revolutionary dental materials expertise and 3D Systems’ printing solutions. It was hailed as a strategic acquisition destined to create foothold in the multi-billion dollar dental industry.
3D Systems has now incorporated the NextDent 5100 3D printer into their workflow which enables laboratories, clinics and hospitals to address multiple ‘indications’ with a single solution.
In dentistry terms, indications are conditions that cause pain or discomfort and potentially endanger a patient’s life or health. For example, if a person has advanced gum disease and has lost several teeth, this would be an indication for dental implants or perhaps dentures depending on the severity of the disease.
With this new dental solution, laboratories and clinics will be able to 3D print implants and other dental devices at a substantially greater speed, up to 4x faster than other contemporary solutions. It will minimise the dependence on milling operations thereby reducing material wastage and equipment investment.
The faster speed also will prove beneficial to patients as it will reduce the number of visits to clinics and the time taken to produce dentures or implants. 3D Systems believes patients will need only two visits against the average of four to five visits currently required. On comparing the traditional way of dentistry, this digital workflow will decrease nearly 70-80% of time required to build dentures and the elimination of materials like plaster and wax makes it a more sustainable approach going forward.
NextDent 5100 3D printer is powered by 3D Systems’ proprietary technology known as Figure 4 technology which enables faster printing of dental devices. It provides a complete solution with compatibility to industry standard intra-oral scanner and relevant softwares to deliver results better than the traditional methods. This end-to-end solutions reduces a lot of manual intervention enabling better output.
The printer is compatible with all the 30 dental resins. The resins are available in a variety of colours so that dental labs can provide finished products which closely match the patient’s teeth and gums. All the resins are CE certified & biocompatible thus suitable for a wide range of applications. These resins are passed by the FDA and are registered in various countries.
President and CEO Vyomesh Joshi of 3D Systems said, “We’re bringing a complete digital dentistry solution to the market – combining an unmatched materials portfolio with leading 3D printing technology, software and services. We offer the industry’s widest range of regulatory-approved 3D printing materials and technologies that allow dental labs and clinics of every size to drive precision, productivity, and efficiency at a reduced cost for a wide range of dental applications.”
The NextDent is currently in beta testing with a few customers. It will be available for pre-order from the second quarter and mass availability is planned for summer 2018.
NextDent 5100 Testimonials
Esteban Ponce, president, Danso Dental Lab (San Diego, CA) spoke about the NextDent solution, “The new NextDent 5100 fits the size and workflow of our lab perfectly. Through the choice of materials, quality, and speed of the system, we can reduce our reliance on milling centres for manufacturing and reduce our costs. When we worked with a milling centre to produce models, each one cost us $30. By employing the NextDent 5100 solution and producing the same model in-house, we realized a 90% reduction in cost.”
Sebastiaan Cornelissen, chief executive officer, Core3dcentres (Holland & Cordent, The Netherlands) said, “It’s the freedom to produce any shape in significantly less time and at a much lower cost than was possible with milling. With 3D Systems’ new NextDent solution which includes both the printer and materials, Core3dcentres Holland and Cordent will be able to improve productivity and patient care.”
The 3D Systems dentistry ecosystem also includes the FabPro 1000. 3D Systems had previously developed this printer to address the jewellery and engineering applications but now the company has announced its capabilities to cater to dental indications. This professional desktop 3D printer also delivers great value in term of quality and speed at a lower cost.
The complete ecosystem of NextDent 5100, the FabPro 1000 and the large suite of biocompatible dental resins will complement the overall printing solutions offered by 3D Systems. The company aims to capture a large dental market and it has developed such wide range of quality solutions for the professionals.