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''Three-Dimensional Printing Technology in Orthodontics for Dental Models''

Ioannis A. Tsolakis 1,* , Sotiria Gizani 2 , Nearchos Panayi 3,4, Georgios Antonopoulos 5 and Apostolos I. Tsolakis 6,7

1. Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece.

2. Department of Paediatric Dentistry, Dental School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 15772 Athens, Greece

3. Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, European University of Cyprus, Nicosia 1516, Cyprus;

4. School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 11527 Athens, Greece 5 Private Dental Lab “FN Orthodontics”, 11527 Athens, Greece;

6. Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 15772 Athens, Greece

7. Department of Orthodontics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA

* Correspondence:


Background: Three-dimensional printing technology is an additive manufacturing technology that is used to reconstruct 3D objects. In the last decade, it has been rapidly involved in dentistry and in orthodontics. This article aims to review the literature and present the accuracy of different 3D printer types and any factors that could affect the 3D printing of dental models in the orthodontic field. Methods: The search strategy of this systematic review included keywords in combination with MeSH terms in Medline, Scopus, and Cochrane Library until June 2022 and only in English. Results: Eleven articles were selected for our study. All the articles were in vitro prospective studies, and they presented a low risk of bias. The results suggested that the accuracy of a printed dental cast can be affected by the different types of 3D technologies, the dental cast’s base design, and the printing materials. The accuracy appears to not be affected by the layer height and the position of the model on the building template. Conclusions: According to this systematic review, all different types of 3D technology can produce clinically accepted results for orthodontic purposes. There is a need for more studies to clarify the accuracy and added value of 3D printing technology in orthodontics. Keywords: 3D printing; three-dimensional printing; accuracy; dental models; dental casts; systematic review; orthodontics; dentistry


The accuracy of three-dimensional printed models can be affected by the different 3D printing technologies. According to the present systematic review, the most accurate technology of all is the PPP, followed by the DLP, LCD, Laser-SLA, and FFF printing technology, respectively. Another factor that seems to affect the accuracy of 3D dental models is the design of the base. It is proven that the horseshoe design could be distorted while the regular dental model base and a horseshoe model with a posterior connection are accurate. The last factor that affects the 3D printed dental models’ accuracy is the printing materials used. The accuracy of the 3D printed dental models is not affected by the layer height or the position of the model on the building template. There is no difference in the accuracy of the dental model’s print, whether the shape of choice is solid or hollow. All these factors do not affect the clinical orthodontic outcome. Since there is no clinically significant effect on the clinical outcome from the above-mentioned factors, the choice of printer for the clinicians can be guided according to the cost and time consumption to produce the dental models for orthodontic purposes. Finally, there must be more studies in order to have a strong scientific-based conclusion about this type of technology.

Author Contributions:
I.A.T.: conceptualization, investigation, methodology, validation, resources, writing—original draft preparation, and writing—review and editing; S.G.: supervision and writing— review and editing; N.P.: validation, resources, and writing—review and editing; G.A.: resources; A.I.T.: project administration, writing—review and editing, and supervision. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript. Funding: National and Kapodistrian University of Athens: NKUA 15243.

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