Int J Comput Dent 17 (2014), No. 4 22. Dec. 2014
Rapid prototyping (RP) describes the customized production of solid models using 3D computer data. Over the past decade, advances in RP have continued to evolve, resulting in the development of new techniques that have been applied to the fabrication of various prostheses. RP fabrication technologies include stereolithography (SLA), fused deposition modeling (FDM), computer numerical controlled (CNC) milling, and, more recently, selective laser sintering (SLS). The applications of RP techniques for dentistry include wax pattern fabrication for dental prostheses, dental (facial) prostheses mold (shell) fabrication, and removable dental prostheses framework fabrication. In the past, a physical plastic shape of the removable partial denture (RPD) framework was produced using an RP machine, and then used as a sacrificial pattern. Yet with the advent of the selective laser melting (SLM) technique, RPD metal frameworks can be directly fabricated, thereby omitting the casting stage. This new approach can also generate the wax pattern for facial prostheses directly, thereby reducing labor-intensive laboratory procedures. Many people stand to benefit from these new RP techniques for producing various forms of dental prostheses, which in the near future could transform traditional prosthodontic practices.
Keywords: dentistry, prosthodontics, rapid prototyping, selective laser sintering, stereolithography