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Cost driven decision making on 3D printing appliances in-office

Published:October 17, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1053/j.sodo.2022.10.002

      Abstract

      Is it cost effective to fabricate dental appliances - aligners, expanders, brackets - in the office? This can feel like a new question due to the increased availability of desktop 3D printing and software development in the orthodontic space. This is a common question that orthodontists have asked themselves throughout the history of the profession. This article will walk readers through scenarios to outline a protocol that can be used in fabricating various types of applications in the office. The buy costs are rather simple to evaluate as they are provided by the manufacturer you choose to compare. The make costs side has multiple prongs to analyze. Specifically, these include capital equipment investments, material costs, labor costs and waste in production(yield) costs. The authors wish to provide the reader with a protocol to execute a make/buy decision accurately and effectively for their own practice.
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