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International Journal of Computerized Dentistry



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Int J Comput Dent 19 (2016), No. 4     26. Dec. 2016
Int J Comput Dent 19 (2016), No. 4  (26.12.2016)

Page 351-362, PubMed:28008431, Language: English/German

3D-printed orthodontic brackets - proof of concept
Krey, Karl-Friedrich / Darkazanly, Nawras / Kühnert, Rolf / Ruge, Sebastian
Today, orthodontic treatment with fixed appliances is usually carried out using preprogrammed straight-wire brackets made of metal or ceramics.
Objective: The goal of this study was to determine the possibility of clinically implementing a fully digital workflow with individually designed and three-dimensionally printed (3D-printed) brackets.
Materials and methods: Edgewise brackets were designed using computer-aided design (CAD) software for demonstration purposes. After segmentation of the malocclusion model generated based on intraoral scan data, the brackets were digitally positioned on the teeth and a target occlusion model created. The thus-defined tooth position was used to generate a template for an individualized arch form in the horizontal plane. The base contours of the brackets were modified to match the shape of the tooth surfaces, and a positioning guide (fabricated beforehand) was used to ensure that the brackets were bonded at the correct angle and position. The brackets, positioning guide, and retainer splint, digitally designed on the target occlusion model, were 3D printed using a Digital Light Processing (DLP) 3D printer. The archwires were individually pre-bent using the template.
Results: In the treatment sequence, it was shown for the first time that, in principle, it is possible to perform treatment with an individualized 3D-printed brackets system by using the proposed fully digital workflow. Technical aspects of the system, problems encountered in treatment, and possible future developments are discussed in this article.

Keywords: orthodontic treatment, digital workflow, 3D-printed brackets