It all adds up — Why digital printing is booming


Most digital dentistry has focused on subtractive manufacturing (i.e. milling) for the fabrication of final restorations, guides and dentures – essentially removing material to create the final result and providing an enhanced dental experience.

The continued decline in price and size and increase in speed and ease of use quickly brought additive manufacturing (i.e. printing) to the fore. And while most printers today are used in dental labs rather than dental practices (88% vs. 12%), it is expected that by 2027 usage will be mostly flat, if not slightly reversed ( 46% versus 54%).[1]

The SprintRay Pro. (Photo: Henry Schein)

Another report states that impression technology is expected to supply over 60% of all dental product needs by 2025![2]

Why the proliferation of printing considerations? Today’s dental printers enable rapid in-office manufacturing that is less expensive, produces less waste, and is useful in a wider range of treatments, including models, assistive devices, surgical guides, dental protectors, overnight, dentures, temporaries and, in some cases, long-term treatments. restorations.

In general, all stereolithography printers work on the same principle: using UV light to cure the liquid photoresist. However, there are different methods used to achieve the result, each offering advantages and disadvantages:

  1. Projector stereolithography — Projecting a wide arc that reaches the entire build platform at once, making this type accurate and fast with long life. Highly recommended for dental applications and chairside use (please see SprintRay Pro image).
  2. Laser stereolithography — Projecting a tiny point of light to increment hardening, this process produces a very smooth surface but has slow print speeds and a generally more complicated system.
  3. LCD-based stereolithography – This system is similar to process #1, but uses more LCD screens available to the general public (think smartphones) to provide light to the resin. They offer smooth surfaces and fast print speeds, but may have more frequent repair issues and spare parts

Other key factors to consider when choosing a dental printer:

  1. Materials and applications: Today’s printers have the ability to print almost anything that will fit in the chamber, but as dentistry often uses these applications for in vivo applications, it is important to verify that the materials used are dental resins functional biocompatible and certified. Henry Schein provides printers and equipment specifically dedicated to dentistry and its application.
  2. KING: To ensure that your printer provides you with an initial and recurring return on investment, consider several available applications to ensure that the printer can grow with your extended practical applications.
  3. Cut: If the plan is to use the printer chairside (in the office), the size of the printer itself, as well as the accompanying materials and devices (for washing, drying and curing), must be taken into account into account to make the whole process convenient and efficient.
  4. Support: Investing in a printer designed and supported specifically for, or optimized for, dentistry will provide you and your team with continued ease of use, confidence and convenience. Calling a manufacturer or supplier familiar with dental applications and materials makes it much easier to troubleshoot and find clinically appropriate solutions.
  5. Ease of use/convenience: Like any other investment in technology, if it is not easy to use, understand or implement, it will not be used as often as it should. Some new innovations in printing technology include optimized software with a large touch screen and a 6-core processor (SprintRay Pro), providing an improved user experience. In addition, SprintRay offers the new Pro Wash/Dry automatic wash system, providing increased ease of use, speed and convenience after printing.

Henry Schein Dental can meet all of your dental impression needs with equipment, materials and support. See the Henry Schein Equipment Catalog – 3D Printers ( for more information on printers offered by Henry Schein.

For more detailed information and to schedule a virtual demo, complete a virtual demo request at to book a time with a FastTrack Technology Advisor.

To learn more

For more information on 3D printers, stop by the Henry Schein Virtual Booth at the Chicago Midwinter Meeting. You can also follow the links below:

• HS Equipment Catalog – 3D Printers:

• Virtual demo request:


  1. as reported in Dental Product Shopper, Vol 12 No. 7 – 2018.

(Source: Henry Schein Dental)

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