Document Type : Research Article
3D printing otherwise known as additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping or layered manufacturing is a relatively new, quickly growing and rapidly expanding method of manufacturing that has got numerous applications in healthcare and also in many other fields. Recently, it has become a subject of great interest in planning surgeries. Additive manufacturing method involves the production of a 3D model by laying down or adding successive layers of material. 3D printers are equipment that produces 3D models using CAD technology or 3D scanners. It has received more importance with the advancement in 3D imaging and modelling technologies such as CBCT, intraoral scanning and CAD/CAM in dentistry. Different techniques are employed in 3D printing namely stereolithography, photopolymer jetting, power binder printers, direct light processing, selective laser sintering, fused deposition modelling, electron beam melting, etc. Dental laboratories are able to produce 3D printed restorations, crowns, bridges, orthodontic appliances, surgical guides and implants quickly with higher precision and accuracy. This is done by methods that combine oral scanning, CAD/CAM designing and 3D printing. The rate of success of 3D printing has improved the quality and accuracy of dental treatment. With the application of 3D printing, it has become possible to replicate the desired complex geometry which was not feasible with conventional techniques. Thus 3D printing has led to a transformation in digital dentistry with its extensive learning and penetrating opportunities and a wide range of applications. The aim of this article was to review the techniques and current applications of 3D printing in dentistry.