A new digital dental laboratory that’s capable of modelling and printing people’s mouths in 3D is helping save the smiles of dental patients across western Sydney.
The state-of-the-art laboratory at the Westmead Centre for Oral Health includes a 3D printer which can create an assortment of surgical guides, models, and temporary crowns, bridges and dentures.
Westmead Centre for Oral Health staff specialist Associate Professor Christine Wallace said the Westmead lab was the second of its kind in the state with the digital equipment enabling the team to save time for patients and improve their experience.
“This technology has allowed us to better engage with our patients and they can visually see what we’ve planned for them and make an informed decision about their care,” Associate Professor Wallace said.
“We’ve decreased the amount of time patients wait for their dental appliances and crowns and bridges, often being able to mill (make) a crown during the patient’s appointment – it’s all digital using the 3D printer and milling equipment.”
“If a patient requires more complex dental surgery, our clinicians view a 3D model of the patient’s oral anatomy from their digital device which can then be printed as a physical model”
Professor Wallace said staff had embraced the equipment as it allows faster care whilst building their skills.
20 March marks World Oral Health Day, helping to emphasise the important role dentistry plays in a healthy lifestyle. This year’s theme is “Be Proud of Your Mouth”.
Western Sydney Local Health District has launched an Oral Health Promotion website which provides information on how to care for your teeth and mouth.
Non-government organisations, playgroups and schools can request a free in-person, or online, tailored oral health education session for their groups.
These sessions address issues such as general oral care for adults and older people, caring for other’s mouths, healthy food and drinks, caring for your dentures, keeping children’s mouths healthy, and how to access public dental care.
This World Oral Health Day the Westmead Centre for Oral Health has provided some tips for a healthy mouth and gums:
• Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
• Clean between your teeth daily using floss
• Visit your dentist regularly
• Reduce or quit smoking or tobacco use
• Choose water instead of soft drink, juice, or cordial
• Choose healthier snacks and fewer treat foods