How AM transforms dental industry

Prof. Mario Kern develops new solution for dental implants

15/03/2019 - With more patients being fitted with dental implants, an infectious disease, peri-implantitis is presenting itself more frequently. Peri-implantitis inflames the gum and the bone structure around a dental implant, causing the soft tissue around the implant to recede - making the metal abutment (the support pillar of the implant) visible.

Leading oral implantologist, researcher and inventor Prof. Dr. Mario Kern spent over 5,000 hours of development time, developed 200 prototypes and took 160 electron microscope images to develop his »Extended Anatomic Platform« (EAP).

In terms of aesthetic appeal, the EAP offers clear advantages over existing titanium abutments. The preparation margin is made entirely of ceramic, and additional modifications are always possible, because the design-related glue joint of the hybrid abutment can be easily and quickly displaced coronally.

GE Additive’s dental hybrid solution has been integral in developing Prof. Dr. Kern’s solution, which he believes has the potential to revolutionize dental implant prosthetics.

Incorporating Additive

Because the thin wall structures of abutments cannot be manufactured using conventional milling techniques, Dr. Kern began to explore additive manufacturing in 2017 and opted for GE Additive’s dental hybrid solution, comprising a Concept Laser Mlab cusing 200R, a milling machine from Georg Fischer (because the abutment still require some milling afterwards) and Follow-Me hyperDENT software.

In addition to the advantages of being able to manufacture complex, customized, precise frameworks and tension free dental prostheses for improved fit in the mouth, using additive technology, Dr. Kern has seen several other additional benefits from using AM technology. With a 99.6% density of the final product, additive demonstrates better metallurgical properties than with a cast part made from the same material, as GE Additive reports.

»This solution combines the advantages of additive manufacturing with subtractive technology, to get the best out of both manufacturing worlds, which means a time and cost-efficient production process,« Kern added.