2021 01 18

Existing restrictions and barriers for manufacturing removable dentures using 3D printing technologies

Khaled Alhallak, Ali Nankali

3D printing technologies have grown rapidly in production of removable dentures particularly in the past a few years. 

Aim: The aim of this research was to investigate the restrictions in the use of 3D printing technologies for producing removable dentures especially in the UK.

Methods: An electronic search was the main method to select dental manufacturers or organizations able to print dentures’ samples for research purposes. Connections were made via phone and by sending emails to the companies’ representatives to discuss the possibility of using their products.

Results: Fourteen dental manufacturers were found offering the use of 3D printing to print dental restorations. But only 5 companies offered printing removable dentures and only one organization was able to offer 3D printed dentures here in the UK. The remainder were not able to sell and ship their resin materials used with 3D printing because of the strict regulations in Europe for receiving or using these materials within the EU even for testing purposes.

Conclusion: There are hidden challenges to finding available options for using 3D printing materials to print removable dentures, especially in the UK. This condition is different in USA and Canada.

Key Words: 3D printing, dentures, manufacturing, restrictions, barriers