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Case Study

Nee Zahntechnik makes smiles shine brighter with Stratasys

October 30, 2022

The Stratasys J5 DentaJet dramatically improves dental lab’s production process

 

 

Extreme accuracy of 3D printed dental models reduce the need to rework final parts and provide a better patient fit

 

Germany-based dental laboratory Nee Zahntechnik is achieving a level of detail, accuracy and color for dental parts that is unachievable with older 3D printers or traditional methods thanks to the Stratasys J5 DentaJet™ 3D printer.

Since its installation, the J5 DentaJet has enhanced the company’s digital workflow by enabling the efficient production of implants, veneers and splints, surgical guides, and dentures.

J5 DentaJet printer

“I visited a friend and dental lab owner who had recently purchased a J5 DentaJet and I was absolutely blown away by the precision, detail and smooth finish of the printed parts,” says Karl-Heinz Nee, founder of Nee Zahntechnik. “Best of all, the J5 has the ability to print in different materials and full color, so I immediately knew it had to be part of my own dental lab’s 3D printing arsenal.”

J5 has the ability to print in different materials and full color

The J5 DentaJet produces 3D-printed case presentations with the realism previously only possible using time-consuming wax models. The high resolution of PolyJet materials means crowns and bridges can be set in minutes thanks to a level of accuracy of up to 18.75 microns, or less than half the width of a human hair.

 “I cannot emphasize enough how important accuracy is in our industry,” continues Nee. “If the models aren’t highly accurate, we can’t ensure the best fit for the patient – which could lead to discomfort on their part and necessitate us having to painstakingly adjust and rework the final part.”

Beyond precision, the J5 DentaJet offers the Nee Zahntechnik team access to over 500,000 colors, which supports its advanced implant, crown, and bridge production.

Color model teeth

“As far as I know, the J5 DentaJet is the only dental 3D printer able to create highly realistic replicas of the patient’s mouth — we are able to color match a model precisely through the large color palette of the printer,” says Nee. “This gives us the opportunity to perfect the design early in the development process and delivers faster end results that mirror the patient’s anatomy exactly. This enables a better customer experience while at the same time saving us time and money.”

The J5 DentaJet 3D printer is the only multi-material dental 3D printer that enables technicians to load mixed trays of dental parts. According to Nee, this is particularly important for dental laboratories such as his that need to produce several accurate parts in multiple materials.

“Taking an implant model as an example, this comprises a top and bottom rigid opaque model, a soft gingiva mask, and a biocompatible surgical guide, which collectively requires three different materials. So we are either forced to use multiple 3D printers or do separate 3D prints using different materials,” explains Nee. “The J5 DentaJet can easily handle up to five materials in one print pass, allowing us to print the entire model in one go.”

In order to ensure patient safety and comfort, Nee’s production team uses Stratasys’ range of biocompatible materials. These materials are proven for intraoral surgical procedures involving contact with skin and mucous membranes as well as autoclave sterilization and eradicate the possibility of irritation to bone and/or soft tissues.

“The dental industry is experiencing a digital transformation and it is crucial that dental laboratories like Nee Zahntechnik stay ahead of the curve to remain competitive,” says Eric Erickson, Healthcare Business Unit Director for EMEA and Asia at Stratasys. “The J5 DentaJet advances dental modeling with the powerful combination of automation with industry-leading accuracy, enabling labs to scale production today and stay prepared for tomorrow.”