THE FUTURE OF 3D PRINTING AND ITS INCREASING ROLE IN MEDICAL AND DENTAL PRACTICE
Assist. Prof. Todor Bogdanov, PhD
Department of Medical Physics and Biophysics
Medical University – Sofia, Bulgaria
From the first studies of adding materials (additive manufacturing) in the 1980s by Dr. Hideo Kodama and Charles ‘Chuck’ Hull to the RepRap project, the development of 3D printing technologies is aimed at the freedom to visualize our ideas. This technology these days is not only a new platform for creating art and entertainment but is increasingly used in architecture, industry, and science. Medicine is emerging as a promising field for the application of additive technologies. The wide range of printing methods combined with the constantly developing and enriching range of materials offer an alternative or completely new approach to several challenges in medicine.
The lecture focuses on the application of 3D technologies in dental and medical practice. The basic principles of 3D printing technologies and their advantages compared to traditional methods of manufacturing medical implants and prostheses will be examined along with the challenges facing the application of this technology in dental and general medicine. The technological, regulatory, ethical, and social difficulties that limit wider application in medicine will be discussed.
In the context of dentistry, ways in which 3D models can be used to create dental implants, prostheses, and other dental structures will be explored. The advantages of using 3D printing technologies in dentistry will also be discussed, including greater accuracy, better functionality, and shorter manufacturing times. Opportunities to create realistic training models to plan and play complex and rare medical interventions will be presented. The limitations of the materials used for printing and the need for appropriate training of medical staff will also be addressed.