Working with leading Lithuanian dentists and dental technician laboratories, Ortho Baltic developed a technology to manufacture patient-specific overdenture bars and other products from medical-grade titanium using 3D printing technology.
Until now in Lithuania, the bars for fixed dental prostheses have been manufactured from cobalt-chrome alloy using a conventional casting technique. However, products in cobalt-chrome based alloys have a number of disadvantages such as relatively high weight, insufficient biocompatibility with human tissue, and unsatisfactory accuracy because both the moulds and the casts have been made manually.
Ortho Baltic decided to manufacture overdenture bars from medical-grade titanium using 3D laser printing technology. With 3D printing, there is no need to manufacture the impression of the bar. The product is printed from a titanium powder (Ti6Al4V) that is sintered together by a laser to produce a succession of layers of 30 µm. This technology ensures great accuracy of the product. Moreover, titanium is 1.87 times lighter than cobalt-chrome alloy and has excellent biocompatibility with human tissues.
While developing the technology for manufacturing overdenture bars, Ortho Baltic engineers had to find solutions to a number of technical problems such as how to avoid deformations of the titanium alloy during the 3D printing process, what are parameters for optimal positioning of the printed products, what supporting structures should be created, how to normalize the internal structures of the titanium alloy through the heat-treatment process, and what are the best 3D printing strategies.
At present, Ortho Baltic already uses technology for designing and manufacturing three types overdenture bars (All on 4, All on 6 and All on 8) and launched an experimental manufacturing process.