3D Printed Dental Veneers: What You Need to Know

dentist showing patient teeth molds

You may not think that technological innovation and dentistry go hand in hand, but take a minute to consider the high-precision, high-cost work being done inside your mouth — seems like the perfect place to implement cutting edge technology! So how can you benefit from revolutionary technology like 3D printing at the dentist's office? If you've been interested in getting dental veneers, 3D printed veneers might be an option for you.

Veneers are thin coverings placed over the top of a tooth to improve cosmetic appearance, correcting the look of stained, chipped, misshapen or gapped teeth. Traditionally, they've been made from composite-resin or porcelain, but now new resins and other materials (like a ceramic-filled hybrid material specifically for dental usage) are being developed for 3D printers to create long-lasting veneers, as well as replacement teeth, crowns, inlays and more.

Dental 3D printing is still fairly new but the potential benefits for patients wanting veneers are exciting to consider:

  1. Cost
    Because they're generally considered a cosmetic treatment, traditional veneers can be expensive, ranging from $800 to $2,000 per tooth. 3D printed veneers could potentially reduce that cost for patients.
  2. Speed
    3D printers and scanners can replace the current process of having to bite into messy paste when your dentist needs impressions of your teeth. It can take weeks for those impressions to be sent out to labs and for models to be returned to your dentist's office. Instead, a digital oral scanner and a 3D printer in your dentist’s office could create the "impressions" and print out an exact model of your mouth in just minutes. And the process of creating the veneer itself takes a fraction of the time through 3D printing versus the traditional method.
  3. Accuracy
    For you, the accuracy of a 3D printed veneer, or any dental product, is important because it reflects how comfortable the piece is going to be inside your mouth. On the flip side, your dentist wants to provide the best dental care and ensure that your veneer fits perfectly to prevent any complications. 3D printers offer an incredibly high level of precision so both you and your dentist can feel confident.

In addition to printing the veneers themselves, some dentists are going a step further and are using 3D printing during the treatment planning phase, helping to design patients' smiles ahead of time, with greater accuracy. Imagine being able to see what your smile is going to look like after dental restorations and procedures? With existing 3D printing technologies, some dentists can create an aesthetic mockup, basically a mouthpiece that fits over your teeth and allows you to see what your smile will look like after treatment, like veneers or clear aligners. This kind of treatment planning could help patients make better informed decisions, plan ahead and boost their moral.

As 3D printing technology continues to advance and become more available at the dentist, it will still be important to weigh all the pros and cons of opting for veneers, like the fact that it's a permanent procedure. After considering all the factors, you'll be well-armed to discuss the options with your dentist and make the right decisions for you — and your smile!

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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What To Expect During a VENEER Procedure

  1. Your dentist will remove a small amount of the tooth surface to permit placement of the veneer.

  2. An impression is taken of the tooth and sent to the dental laboratory.

  3. The dental veneer is then made to fit the tooth and mouth.

  4. The veneer is bonded to the tooth with resin cement.

Protect your smile

Practicing good oral hygiene is important if you want to keep your veneers in good shape. Try one of our products for a healthy mouth.