Three-dimensional printing has transformed the field of dentistry, particularly in the area of definitive restorations. Recent advancements in technology have made 3D printing more cost-effective and user-friendly, while new photopolymer resins have matched the durability and aesthetics of traditional materials. Inlay/onlay restorations, made possible through 3D printing, offer a conservative and long-lasting solution for dental practices. However, the challenges associated with both indirect and direct procedures have led many clinicians to avoid these restorations. Indirect restorations require multiple office visits and temporary restorations, while direct composite restorations are seen as more technically demanding. Moreover, direct resins have limitations in terms of bond conversion and polymerization shrinkage stress. Nonetheless, 3D printed resins have emerged as a game-changer, offering superior mechanical properties and eliminating many of these challenges. They boast high bond conversion rates and can be printed in a single visit, saving time and effort for both clinicians and patients. The use of novel materials, such as Ceramic Crown resin, has further expanded the possibilities of 3D printing in dentistry, allowing for the creation of durable and aesthetically pleasing restorations that meet the requirements of the American Dental Association (ADA). Overall, 3D printing is revolutionizing restorative dentistry by providing efficient and reliable solutions for patients.
In a recent case report, a patient presented with recurrent decay in multiple posterior teeth and chose to undergo single-visit inlay/onlay restorations using 3D printing technology. The entire procedure, from preparation to delivery, was completed within a two-hour appointment. The dental assistant played a vital role in scanning, designing, and fabricating the restorations, streamlining the workflow. The restorations were printed using A1 Ceramic Crown resin and exhibited an excellent fit and aesthetics. They were then securely cemented using adhesive cementation techniques. The patient reported no sensitivity or complications following the procedure, and subsequent recall appointments revealed no wear or issues with the restorations. This case serves as a testament to the efficiency and effectiveness of 3D printing in providing high-quality restorations in a single visit.
The use of 3D printing technology in dentistry continues to evolve and advance. Its ability to produce durable and aesthetically pleasing restorations in a shorter time frame has made it an increasingly attractive option for dental practices. The development of novel materials, such as Ceramic Crown resin, has further enhanced the capabilities of 3D printed restorations, enabling them to meet ADA requirements and be billed using established codes. As the technology continues to improve and gain wider acceptance, it has the potential to revolutionize the field of restorative dentistry, providing efficient and reliable solutions for both clinicians and patients.