Most of us are always looking at adding new materials, techniques, and technologies to our practices. That's the reason for this column! But often, we make a change on a material or add a technology and it doesn’t stick; the new material or tech may not work as well or as smoothly as was advertised. Or it might be way more cumbersome, so we end up falling back to our old ways.
I think we all probably have closets full of products and tech that just didn’t live up to what it was supposed to do. For every one of those losses, we all have a few wins too! For my practice and me, 3D printing has been one of the wins. From models to restorations, 3D printing has made my practice nimbler and more profitable.
The biggest “profit center” with 3D printing has been occlusal splints. The production from splints has paid off my investment in 3D printing many times. Having a great material for printing splints is a must if you’re looking into 3D printing. V-Print splint by Voco is a great choice for this.
V-Print splint is a light-cured 3D printing resin that is FDA approved for fabricating occlusal splints. It is biocompatible and flavorless and stays very transparent. It has a very high flexural strength, so the printed splints last well. It also prints with high precision so the splints print well. Check with Voco regarding settings and parameters for your printer and V-Print splint.
In addition to regular V-Print splint, Voco also makes V-Print splint comfort. This material yields a splint that is much more flexible, especially when exposed to hot water. Many patients want these more thermoflexible splints as opposed to the harder, more ridged V-Print Splint. It’s all about options for you and your patients.
Obviously, V-Print splint and V-Print splint comfort don’t work without a good 3D printer, an intraoral scanner, and a splint design. Once you scan the patient, you can either design the splint yourself with any commercially available dental design software, or you can have it made by a designer. Once the design is done, you’ll need a quality 3D printer with a resin tank filled with V-Print Splint. It’s an investment, but the profit margin we achieve by printing splints in my practice has made it, per minute, one of the more profitable procedures we do in our practice.
V-Print splint and V-Print splint comfort are great choices to help you turn your 3D printer into a probability machine for your practice and provide your patients with good, fast occlusal splints to keep their bites stable and their joints and muscles happy.
Editor's note: This article appeared in the September 2023 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.