ICON + 3D Printed In-House Bleach Trays Digital Workflow = More Revenue

Sponsored ContentAccording to a recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, teeth whitening is the most requested cosmetic dental procedure in the USA. Teeth whitening accounts for 32% of in-office practice because 99.7% of people in the country perceive a smile as their most important social asset. (Teeth Whitening Market Size, Value, Growth Report, 2030. (n.d.).

In 2021, the teeth whitening industry in the U.S. was valued at $5.5 billion. Also known as cosmetic tooth bleaching, it is the most common cosmetic dentistry operation, in part, because it improves the appearance of stained or discolored teeth.1 The global teeth whitening market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 6.03% during the forecast period 2022-2030. (1 – Analytica, A. (n.d.). Global Teeth Whitening Products Market Size Expected to Reach USD 8,316.50 Million by 2030|CAGR: 6.03%: Astute)

According to a report by SmarTech Analysis, the market for 3D printing in the dental industry in the US is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) OF 35.2% between 2020 and 2025.

The global dental 3D printing market was worth U.S. $ 1.3 billion and is projected to reach U.S. $ 2.9 billion by the end of 2031. (Dental 3D Printing Market Forecast, 2021-2031. (n.d.). There’s more opportunity than ever to invest in 3D printing!

Now you can better meet the growing demand for minimally invasive treatments like teeth whitening, while improving patient outcomes and increasing your bottom line.

Two technologies have come together to drive revenue growth and increase practice efficiency and patient retention! By establishing a proper treatment protocol for ICON that includes bleaching/whitening recommendations using a 3D-printed in-house digital bleach tray workflow like NEW DMG DentaMile, clinicians can streamline the process and add revenue while reducing outsourcing costs and long wait times.

DMG America’s 3D printing solution in combination with ICON resin infiltration offers clinicians a powerful solution to meet the needs of patients seeking a minimally invasive treatment for white spot lesions with minimal discomfort and without undergoing painful drilling or other procedures.

Those Pesky White Spots

Patients young and old frequently inquire about eliminating white spots without undergoing painful drilling or other procedures. By collaborating and agreeing on treatment methods, dentists and orthodontists can provide their patients with top-notch care.

For clinicians that don’t already produce 3D printed bleach trays in-house, adding this service is a great way to maximize revenue potential and increase patient acceptance with the ability to offer same day bleaching services for patients.

Caries Infiltration with ICON Smooth Surface

ICON is the revolutionary ICON treatment for white spot lesions and early caries (up to D1) that’s taken the dental market by storm! It applies the concept of resin infiltration technology that optically blends the discolored tooth structure with the surrounding healthy enamel for esthetically pleasing results. It falls under the resin infiltration category and has a dental code of D2990, making it more accessible for dental professionals.

It’s a great source of incremental income that doesn’t sacrifice or replace another procedure at your practice!

Features & Benefits

• Esthetic results on smooth surfaces
• Remove white spots effectively
• Preserve healthy tooth structure
• No anesthesia or drilling
• One quick and simple patient visit

The Infiltration Treatment is Quite a Simple Process

Start by preparing the surface prior to treatment, cleaning the affected and adjacent teeth, and then ensuring a completely dry working field using a liquid or rubber dam.

Next, remove the hypo mineralized surface layer to gain access to the lesions, by using a medium grit abrasive disk or micro-abrasion, depending on the type of lesion.

After exposing the lesion body you can begin the ICON treatment, first by applying ICON Etch (comprised of 15%HCl). Once the etching step is complete, you can preview the final result by applying ICON Dry (99% Ethanol Alcohol) and looking for the change-the whitish-opaque color of the etched enamel should fade. If it doesn’t, you can repeat the process up to two more times as necessary.

Now, let’s infiltrate! Apply a generous amount of ICON Infiltrant and allow it to infiltrate for 3 minutes (longer exposure time is recommended for deeper lesions) prior to light-curing all sides for 40 seconds.

ICON’s designated website offers a plethora of marketing and education resources that can help perfect your technique; find them here!  DMG also offers CE training and demos for ICON and other products; find your rep and schedule a time to learn more here! 

Adding Bleaching to your ICON Protocol

It’s always best to give patients the option to improve the overall appearance of their teeth by bleaching/whitening prior to ICON treatment. It can positively impact the final smile and is often asked by patients that have specific esthetic concerns. DMG recommends bleaching at least two weeks prior to performing the ICON treatment to allow the teeth to hydrate and calm any sensitivity. Bleaching can also be performed following treatment, but by treating prior, the infiltrant will take on the appearance of the already whitened surrounding healthy enamel.

Innovative 3D Printing with the DMG DentaMile Solution

The future of dentistry is 3D printing, and the future is here. Dental professionals using 3D printing is growing. While 63% of dental laboratories already use 3D printing in their operations (2021 study by LMT), dental practices can also leverage 3D printing to offer new services.

Bleach tray fabrication creates custom-fitted trays for at-home teeth whitening treatments. The tray is made from a thin, flexible material that conforms to the shape of the patient’s teeth, ensuring that the whitening gel is distributed evenly across the surface of the teeth. In addition, the process can be facilitated in-house with 3D printing technology, allowing for a more efficient and cost-effective solution than outsourcing the fabrication process.

The DMG DentaMile 3D printing solution helps dentists achieve a perfect balance of the art, science, and business of dentistry. As a result, the dental practice sees greater success and experiences more satisfied patients while maintaining its own in-house 3D printing system and complete control of the teeth whitening workflow.

Our comprehensive validated line of software, hardware and resin materials provides:

  • Validated, on-demand fabrication of dental devices
  • Automated and simplified workflow for increased efficiency via an integrated system
  • DentaMile connects design software with guided workflows
  • Fast print speeds with the 3Demax DLP printer
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Accurate, reliable and reproducible devices every time
  • Post-processing units with preset programs
  • A wide range of indications with the high-quality LuxaPrint suite of resins (i.e. bleach trays, splints, models, surgical guides, etc.)
  • Easy-to-use system will guarantee buy-in from your team
  • RFID technology for automated material Identification

The Benefits of Direct Printing Whitening Trays

A digital workflow is powerful and cost-effective for several reasons:

  1. It eliminates the need for physical impressions, which can be messy, time-consuming, and uncomfortable for the patients. Digital scanners are used to create precise and accurate 3D models which can be stored digitally and accessed easily when needed.
  2. With digital technology, treatment plans can be shared instantly and securely, reducing the need for time-consuming and costly physical deliveries.
  3. A digital workflow can improve treatment outcomes and reduce the need for repeat visits. With 3D printing, custom-fitted restorations can be fabricated in-house, reducing wait times and ensuring a precise fit. This can ultimately improve patient satisfaction and retention.
  4. Direct printing uses fewer materials and produces less waste than the traditional approach.

Overall, a digital workflow, and specifically a 3D printing workflow, offer a more streamlined, efficient, and cost-effective approach to dental treatments, benefiting clinicians and patients.

Customer Testimonial:
“Investing in a 3D printer is one of the best financial decisions I’ve ever made for my practice. The time savings, predictable outcomes and impact on patient satisfaction have increased my monthly profitability by an average of 14.7%!” – DR. RAFFI LEBLEBIJIAN

The Simpler Digital Workflow for Bleaching Trays

Step 1 Scan

Scanning can be done with an intraoral or optical desktop scanner. While most digital scans come out very well, one of the benefits of scanning versus taking physical impressions is that if something is not scanned right, you do not need to put the patient through the unpleasant physical impression experience again. Instead, you simply digitally erase the problem section and then rescan just the problem area. Plus, once you take a scan, you can use it for multiple things, such as a whitening trays, nightguard, and splints.

Step 2 Design

If you are using the DMG DentaMile connect software, the entire user-friendly design process can be completed in about five minutes:

  1. Upload the STL files into the software after entering the patient’s information.
  2. Set the occlusion plane by placing the four markers on the selected jaw, on the second molars and incisors.
  3. Draw the reservoir on the desired teeth. Options include increasing the radius or thickness of the reservoir, removing parts of it, or adding to it. There’s no need to do anything on the occlusal side of the image.
  4. Next, set the margin line by following the gingiva and scallop appropriately.
  5. If desired, edit the margin line.
  6. Preview the file and then print it – nesting and slicing are automatically done.

Step 3 Print

Adding LuxaPrint Ortho Flex resin to the resin reservoir and selecting print is all you need to do to start printing. Of note, printing horizontally can be a faster option, especially when there is a need for quick turnaround time, such as when delivering whitening trays to a patient in a dental office.

Step 4 Finish

Once the whitening tray is 3D printed, there are just a few more steps that need to be completed:

  1. Remove the whitening tray from the 3D printer. Place the whitening tray in the wash and start the cleaning by leaving the supports on. The DMG 3Dewash uses preprogrammed settings for a complete wash cycle. The wash and geometries that can trap liquid should be placed face down. This is important because the 3Dewash uses preprogrammed settings for a thorough wash cycle, which helps remove any residual resin and support material from the printed object, which guarantees a better fit.
  2. Leaving the supports on, place the whitening tray in the curing unit to be cured. Curing is necessary after printing to ensure that the resin in the whitening tray is fully hardened and stable for use. If you print multiple trays, ensure that parts are not touching during the curing process.
  3. Use a cutting tool to remove the supports, polish the whitening tray with a carbide soft rubber polisher and a polishing wheel.

Experiencing a 3D printing demo and learning more about the complete, validated solution that provides automation, connectivity, and more, is easy; schedule your demo here!

The Bottom Line

Investing in new technology can improve the quality of services and treatments, enhance the patient experience, and ultimately benefit the overall growth and success of the practice. In today’s competitive dental market, incorporating cutting-edge technologies such as ICON Smooth Surface and 3D-printed bleach trays and other 3D printing services in-house can significantly impact a practice’s reputation and patient satisfaction. By offering advanced technology, practices can attract and retain patients who appreciate the latest innovation in dental care, which will also help them save time and money. This leads to positive patient experiences and positive word-of-mouth referrals, which help grow the practice, and your bottom line.