How Dental LCD 3D Printers Increase Productivity

Written by Chanda Lalwani

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Posted on April 21 2021

We here at Phrozen sat down with Li Cheng-Ru (李承儒), a dental technician who owns Denti Tech Studio, a dental lab in Taiwan.

Before switching over to dental 3D printing, Cheng-ju used traditional methods to create dental molds. He now uses Phrozen’s dental 3D printers to produce dental models.

Let’s learn about his experience with 3D printers, the challenges of adopting 3D printing into the laboratory’s dental workflow, and the benefits of creating dental models with resin 3D printers:


What’s the difference between a dental laboratory and a dental clinic? How do the two collaborate with one another?

As we work at a dental laboratory, we receive orders from dentists that work at dental clinics. Unlike dentists, we aren’t in direct contact with the patients.


Could you please explain the process of creating dental molds or dentures the traditional way?

With the traditional workflow, first, you have to create an intraoral impression of a person’s teeth, then create a model with dental stone. After the stone has been set, you need to create a dental model on the plaster base.

As intraoral scanning techniques are being widely adopted by dentists these days, digital methods must be used to create study and working models.


How long does this process usually take? How much manpower does it require?

With the traditional process, it takes roughly a day to create working molds.

Now, as soon as we receive the digital scanning data, the dental model can quickly be designed before being printed out. The entire process only takes half a day.


What about CNC system in the dental workflow? What are the steps?

Nowadays in a dental clinic, CNC system is mainly used for Zicornia Milling or for creating temporary restoration. As for the materials, we usually use Zicornia or metal.


You mentioned previously using CNC system before 3D printing. Is there a difference in production volume?

With 3D printing, we’re able to create roughly 5 times the amount of dental models than previously possible.


Have manpower requirements been affected as a result?

We can now reduce our labor costs and save time while creating dental models.


Could you please explain how the dental workflow has changed with the addition of 3D printing?

We use 3D printing in tandem with intraoral scanning. The biggest difference is that resin 3D printing significantly shortens production time.


Could you please explain why 3D printing is able to help you to save time?

Since dentists now only need to send over data via email, the delivery time of dental models has been shortened. The process of sending over dental models is much faster this way. Previously, we had to wait for dentists to send over silicon impressions before we could start creating the dental models.

With traditional dental molding, at least 1 person is required to focus while creating the working models. While with 3D printing, less manpower is needed to create the exact same dental models.


Why was at least one person previously required to create working models?

When creating dental molds using the traditional method, we need to wait twice for the dental stone to set. It takes roughly 30 minutes each time for the dental model to set with stone. Using this production method, it takes 2+ hours to create dental molds.

However, with resin 3D printing, we’re able to create 2-3 times the amount of dental models in roughly 40 minutes to 1 hour.


Dentists would previously need to send over an intraoral impression of their patient’s teeth. Could you please elaborate on this and the difference 3D printing has made in regards to dental molding?

Yes, previously we had to wait to receive the patient’s intraoral impression and then use that to create a stone model. Now, thanks to 3D printing, we no longer have to do so.


How did you decide to switch to 3D printing?

I decided to start using 3D printers when I started receiving more and more cases. I realized I needed to save more time, which is why I switched to 3D printing.


What made you switch over to Phrozen's LCD 3D printers?

It was due to the precision provided by Phrozen’s resin 3D printers. I decided to make the change when Phrozen came out with its Shuffle Series and have since started using Phrozen’s Sonic 4K.


Could you please explain why precision is necessary for the dental 3D workflow?

Precision in dental printing is extremely important as the morphology of a person’s teeth needs to be replicated perfectly. If the dental mold or parts aren’t replicated perfectly, it may deform in shape or not have a perfect fit when delivered.


If the restoration is deformed or doesn’t have the perfect fit, how will that affect the rest of the process?

If that’s the case, then both the dentist’s and the patient’s time has been wasted. You’ll basically need to start the process from scratch. The patient will need to make a second appointment with the dentist and go through the entire process again...so it wastes time.

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