Chinese researchers develop 3D printer to produce dentures

Updated 2018-01-10 10:01:20 Xinhua

Open your mouth wide, have your teeth scanned, then sit back as a 3D printer produces dentures for you.

Dentists scan a patient's mouth and teeth, before the 3D printer translates that information into a three-dimensional model and prints a prosthesis from ceramic slurry, according to Kunshan Industrial Technology Research Institute in east China's Jiangsu Province, Tuesday.

Traditionally, dentists used wax to create molds of patients' mouths and teeth. The molds undergo several rounds of carving before being sent to workshops where false teeth are made. The whole process can take weeks.

"3D printing is efficient and saves on dental materials," said Wang Yungan, chairman of Porimy, a 3D printer in Kunshan City. It takes one week to print and install the teeth.

The printer costs between 700,000 yuan (around 110,000 U.S. dollars) and 800,000 yuan, a quarter of the price of imported machines.

China supports the 3D printing sector with policies from fiscal measures to easier financing, as high-tech, emerging sectors are seen as new drivers of the economy.

3D printing is being tested in nearly all possible applications from housing to food, clothing and surgery.

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