Damage Control Mouthguards prides itself as being the leader in adopting the latest and most innovative technologies to create for their customers mouth guards which allow them to play harder and live better lives. Recently Damage Control has gotten into 3D manufacturing for the sole purpose of making things better and more convenient for their customers.
"3D printing has evolved beyond hobbyists making trinkets to practical applications used in the dental industry like manufacturing dental crowns, night guards, retainers and athletic mouth guards," says CEO and Cofounder Delano Romero.
"3D intra oral scanning [an impression done on your teeth using digital imaging] has been used by the dental community for over a decade and the acceptance rate among dentists is still at a low of 10%", says Romero, "it is not enough of an adoption rate to be considered mainstream among dentists." When 3D intra oral scanning was initially introduced to dentists, the scanners were usually sold in conjunction with milling machines for the purpose of making dental crowns in house, to save the dentist time and money. The minimum buy in for a set up like this was typically around one hundred thousand dollars. The machines were big, clunky and typically ended up in dental practice storage rooms. For most dentists this new technology was found to be tedious, time consuming, and expensive, and didn't generate the profits they hoped. This left a bad taste in the mouths of many dentists toward this new technology. Fast forward to 2017, dentists are still slow to buy these intra oral impression scanners because the vast majority of these scanners are still big, clunky, and pricy.
A year ago Romero had to get an intra oral scan done by his orthodontist for Invisalign™ teeth straightening retainers. The whole scanning process took about 45 minutes. He explained the discomfort of having to keep his mouth open as wide as he could for the duration of the scan as they probed him with the over sized intra oral scanning wand. He asked the dental assistant why she couldn't have just taken a regular impression of his teeth (which would have only taken around three minutes), and then scan his impressions or teeth models afterward. She told him a digital impression could not be done in that manner. Romero, being in the dental lab tech industry, and always looking for better ways to do things, sought out a better way to do a digital impression for his customers at Damage Control Mouthguards.
3Shape Lab Scanner. A 3Shape Lab Scanning allows lab technicians to scan both impressions and teeth models and convert them to digital form. Therefore, digital intra oral scans are no longer needed for lab technicians to work on dental cases digitally, or to use additive or subtractive manufacturing. As Damage Control has taken the dental visit out of the equation for someone to acquire a custom mouthguard, by developing their own self impression kit system, now Damage Control has taken the dental visit out of digital impressions. Damage Control has added a 3 Shape Lab Scanner as well as a 3D Printer in their repertoire of technologies. "With these new technologies at Damage Control we now can digitally scan all our customers impressions, or teeth models for easy and seamless reordering", says Romero, "our customers still do their initial impressions from the comfort of their own home. After we receive their impression back, we will scan the impression, 3D print their teeth models, and manufacture their custom mouthguard. We will have their teeth digitally stored for future orders." Now that is a better way.
If you are curious of what exactly a 3 Shape Lab Scanner is check out the video below:
If your are curious of what a 3D printer is, or its capabilities in relation to dental manufacturing take a look at this video.