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Implementation of Direct Resins in an Office with Thermoformed Aligners

The integration of direct resins in the production of aligners is a challenge in a clinic where thermoformed aligners are first used with great success. For this reason, its implementation must be introduced little by little with the minimum possible cost accompanied by its own clinical evidence to verify its effectiveness. There are many publications that are contradictory on the use of direct resin aligners. Here are a series of steps to achieve this implementation.


Equipment and Materials Needed

  1. 3D Printer: A 4K or 6K resolution printer with a built-in heater is essential. These printers offer high precision at a relatively low cost, ensuring the accuracy required for dental applications.

  • Recommended Printers: Anycubic Photon Mono X (6K), Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K.


2.       Direct Resins: Select high-quality resins suitable for dental applications.

  • Recommended Resins: Senertek, Graphy, ZDental.


3.       Viscosity Reduction: To achieve optimal resin performance, eliminating viscosity is crucial. This can be accomplished using a 60°C oven or centrifuges designed for aligners.


4. Photocuring: Proper curing of the resins can be enhanced by using glycerin, which prevents the inhibition layer from forming due to oxygen exposure.

  • Techniques: Photocuring with and without glycerin using adequate light intensity.


Step-by-Step Implementation

  1. Designing Aligners:

  • Utilize software like Meshmixer to design the aligners. Meshmixer is user-friendly and can import files from other dental software such as Archform.

  • Workflow: Export files from Archform → Import into Meshmixer → Design adjustments and finalization.


2.       3D Printing:

  • Set up your 4K or 6K printer, ensuring the build plate and resin vat are clean.

  • Load the selected resin into the printer. If necessary, preheat the resin to reduce viscosity.

  • Print the aligner designs following the printer's specific settings for dental resins.


3.       Post-Processing:

  • Once printed, carefully remove the aligners from the build plate.

  • Eliminate resin by oven or centrifuge. Not wash, not IPA

  • Cure the aligners in a UV curing station. Use glycerin if needed to ensure a tack-free surface.


4.       Clinical Trials:

  • Begin with simple cases to gather initial clinical evidence. Offer pro bono treatments to willing patients to test and refine the process.

  • Monitor and document the outcomes meticulously to establish the efficacy and safety of the new aligners.


Tips for Success

  • Quality Control: Regularly calibrate and maintain your printer to ensure consistent output quality.

  • Material Handling: Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for resin handling and safety precautions.

  • Patient Feedback: Collect feedback from patients regarding comfort and fit to continuously improve the design and production process.

By following these steps, dental professionals can ensure that direct resins can be used safely and effectively, as there are many conflicting publications due to wear of direct aligners, color change, or damage of the free monomer to the gums.


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