A Crowning Achievement

Here’s an example of technology making a huge positive difference in healthcare, with very little fanfare.

While waiting for the dentist to see me during my recent checkup, I asked the hygienist if they had an old printer running a large print job–I could hear a continuing buzz from somewhere in the office.  I was imagining a 1970’s style printers with those spiky little wheels feeding long continuous sheets of paper and a dot-matrix ink cartridge zipping back and forth, like those that ran our card batch jobs during my college days (yeah, I’m that old).

Turns out, it wasn’t an OLD printer.  She took me into the next room and showed me a device the size of a microwave.

My dentist can now create a custom crown using a 3D printer during one office visit. The system designs the crown using 3D imaging to ensure a good fit in your mouth–no more temporary, ill-fitting crowns.  More on the process is here.

3D crown printing

So we have a new variation on Precision Medicine–custom crowns designed while you wait.  Technology is so cool.

image from “New At The Dentist: 3D Printing Dental Crowns While You Wait