While 3D printing has had a meteoric rise in dentistry for surgical guides, clear aligners, models, and other non-permanent intraoral applications, the Achilles heel has been developing a material with properties suitable for fixed prosthodontics. Well, it may be sooner than later now.
Long-term testing is ongoing for a material that is already cleared in Europe for 3D-printed long-term TEMPORARY crowns and bridges. Named Temporis, the material was developed by Italian stereolithography pioneer DWS Systems. DWS delivers advanced photopolymer additive manufacturing systems, materials, and digital tools.
We sat down with Avi Reichenthal, vice chairman of DWS and vice chairman of Techniplas. DWS is developing its entire portfolio of 3D printing products within Techniplas' Open Innovation Center in Ventura, California.
DPS: For years, research efforts have been focused on finding a material suitable for creating permanent fixed dental restorations using additive technology. Is Temporis the first? Is it currently the only one?
AR: Temporis is currently cleared only as a long-term temporary restoration material in Europe, simply because we haven’t had sufficient time to complete long term, life cycle testing. Notwithstanding that, early indications from independent third-party tests suggest that Temporis exhibits all the desired mechanical performance for permanent restorations.
DPS: Can you talk about some of the features and properties of Temporis? Biocompatibility? Strength and durability? Esthetics? Can it be customized and characterized via staining or other methods?
AR: Temporis® is a Class IIa biocompatible material suitable for the production of dental restorations and prosthetics. Thanks to DWS’s unique Photoshade technology, the new chairside DFAB® 3D printer can fully personalize restorations by adjusting the color gradient and shading to match each person.
DPS: Like CAD/CAM has evolved, do you envision an in-practice workflow (sidestepping the lab) for 3d printing permanent restorations? Is that something DWS is looking at?
AR: DWS Systems thinks that the lab will migrate more and more to the dentist office. Like many elements of our lives, the dentist’s office is being digitized. Already we see many dentists using chair-side scanners and in-clinic milling machines. DWS is betting on the digitization of both dental labs and clinics and providing suitable solutions for both. We are cheering for the digital transformation of both labs and clinics without choosing one side over the other.
DPS: Are DWS printers open architecture? Are they compatible with existing capture and design software now used in dentistry?
AR: DWS Systems printers are input source agnostic and can readily receive digital work flow from all scanners, capture devices, and CAD design software now used in dentistry. To ensure quality compliance, only designated printing materials must be used with DWS machines.