The team CeramicPrints of the “SPbU Start-Up — 2018” is developing a new generation material that is photopolymer resins, or liquid ceramics for 3D printing of the dental crowns that will be potentially cheaper than their analogues.

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“The veneers cost about 300,000 rubles at the dental clinics, — said a member of the team and a student in Management Ekaterina Baranova. — Placing a crown costs about 20,000 rubles, that is two third of the average salary in Russia. Our idea is to reduce the cost and to retain the quality. What we do is we prepare photohardening mixture and, by using laser, fabricate a dental crown”.

For dental 3D printing, as the students say, they will use SLA 3D-printing technology. The photopolymer resin is exposed to radiation by laser and then hardens. The resin is then placed in a furnace, hardening into a solid. The tooth is created by laying down successive layers, and the size of the tooth is pre-determined in the 3D digital model.

The dentists will scant the oral cavity by using a special equipment to be processed by an application. The next stage is to print a 3D model and then an implant.

Today, we test our mixture for mechanical properties and bio-compatibility. It resembles a liquid having a consistency like that of water. Special coating materials will be applied to colour the tooth.

Pavel Talianov, a leader of the team “CeramicPrints” and a graduate students in Chemistry, Physics, and Mechanics of Materials

3D printing in dentistry is beneficial in a number of ways: dental crowns will cost much cheaper that their analogues (about 2,000 rubles, while now it costs about 5,500 rubles). Another advantage is printing a tooth by using SLA technique is about 40 minutes, while fabricating the implants takes from several hours to several weeks.

3D printing technique also save materials. As a rule, the veneers and crowns are fabricated from a block leaving much waste. SLA printing uses just right amount of photopolymer resin as 3D printing processes build parts layer-by-layer.

“Our printing is accurate and ceramics is non-allergic”, — said Pavel Talianov. 

The scientific supervisor of the project is Doctor of Chemistry and SPbU Associate Professor Alina Manshina and the members of the project are students in Chemistry, Physics, and mechanics of Materials Anastasia Elistratova and Dmitrii Patrushev, a graduate student in Applied mathematics and Informatics Ilia Lebedev.

“Today medicine is more oriented towards recovery technology that is a new level in implanting. Additive technology and new materials can ensure effective approach to manufacturing organs, including permanent individually designed implants”, — said Doctor of Chemistry Alina Malshina.