Irish company develops ‘revolutionary’ 3D printing for dentures

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Dentaltech, whose technology helps patients avoid uncomfortable fittings for false teeth, aims to expand its B2B operations globally

Dentaltech, the Irish denture maker, is targeting expansion in Britain and the US after developing 3D printing technology it says could be ‘revolutionary’ in oral care.

The Enterprise Ireland-backed business was founded nearly 50 years ago by husband and wife Brian and Mary Mahon, and is now run by their daughter Bevin, who is in the process of buying out her retired parents.

The company operates dental clinics in Dublin, Wexford and Waterford, manufacturing its prostheses in-house. It currently employs 35 people and plans to have 50 by 2023.

Dentaltech sells its technology to dental practices and laboratories, in addition to operating a full portable service to nursing homes and selling directly to customers who require its services.

The company has just unveiled a new 3D dental prosthesis technology that can dramatically speed up the manufacturing process and eliminate the need for uncomfortable “impression trays”.

The technology, dubbed Truefit, scans a patient’s mouth using a computer-connected tool that creates an accurate, instant image. The company then produces the prostheses using 3D printing technology and, in an industry first, offers replacement prostheses for those who need them.

“Tooth loss is a lot more common than people realize,” Bevin Mahon told the business station, citing medical research showing that 33% of adults over the age of 35 are missing one or more teeth. “We take selfies from a different angle or smile with closed lips to hide it.”

Dentaltech believes its 3D printing technology can make life easier for people with missing teeth in several ways.

“Because our solution is digitally designed, we can print a prosthesis in one click, whereas before, every time you wanted to make one, you had to go through all the steps,” Mahon said.

“On top of that, we can actually create aftermarket parts. For those in nursing homes or people visiting the hospital who need their dentures removed, they have one more and don’t have to come back to us for new ones.

Dentaltech was now trying to expand its B2B operations globally, Mahon said. “Anyone in the world who has an intraoral scanner – a scanner to scan the mouth – can now access our 3D print. We therefore want to evolve by combining the technical capabilities of our team with the equipment of dentists around the world. »

But the company’s ultimate goal is to grow its own footprint by opening its own clinics around the world where it can manufacture and supply dentures to those in need.

“We want to provide access ourselves, with clinics in Britain first and then in the US,” Mahon said. “In five years, we want multiple locations in the US and UK. We will also be in nursing homes and we will partner with dental practices to provide our solution to their clients. »

This Making it Work article is produced in partnership with Enterprise Ireland