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J Dent Res Dent Clin Dent Prospects. 2018;12(4):299-303.
doi: 10.15171/joddd.2018.047
PMID: 30774798
PMCID: PMC6368941
  Abstract View: 413
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  Full Text View: 144

Original Article

3D printing of a novel dental implant abutment 

Les Kalman 1 *

1 Assistant Professor, Restorative Dentistry, Coordinator, Dental Outreach, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada


Implant-supported crowns remain an ideal treatment option for the replacement of a missing tooth. The provisionalization phase remains a critical step between surgery and final crown placement, guiding soft tissue healing and providing esthetics and function. Although there are several possible pathways for provisionalization, the options are time-consuming, technically difficult and expensive, resulting in confusion and frustration for the dentist and cost and time for the patient. A novel dental implant abutment has been developed that aims to resolve the shortcomings of current abutments and the provisionalization process. 3D printing or additive manufacturing, with plastic and metal, were employed as an alternative approach for production of the prototype abutment. Scanning, computer-aided design and 3D plastic and metal printing were employed. Abutments were fabricated in MED690 VeroDentPlus and Duraform 316L stainless steel, respectively. Prototypes were printed with a claimed accuracy of 16 µm (plastic) and 8 µm (metal). The prototypes were qualitatively assessed for functionality by implant threading and simulated provisionalization process in a laboratory setting. The plastic prototypes were not suitable due to threading issues and material weakness. Metal prototypes tolerated artificial tooth fabrication successfully but concerns with thread pitch and accuracy remained. 3D metal printing appears to be a suitable alternative to traditionally machined implant components; however, post-production processing seems to be required. Further research is warranted.
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Submitted: 11 Feb 2018
Accepted: 17 Nov 2018
First published online: 26 Dec 2018
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