Product Stories

High-tech for health: 3D printed dental crunch splints

3D printing is transforming industries like dentistry where it's increasingly used for in the production of customized dental splints, and Evonik's VESTANAT® TMDI emerging as a unique raw material for photopolymers used in these applications.

From the fabrication of small items to the construction of an entire family home - 3D printing is one of the major technology trends of the future. With its wide range of applications it is revolutionizing a large number of industries. Due to the additive manufacturing process, in which the material is applied layer by layer, it is possible to create almost any three-dimensional shape. This goes hand in hand with weight reduction as well as saving costs, resources and time.

One of the industries benefiting more and more from additive printing processes is the dental sector with the use of 3D printers in the dental market predicted to grow rapidly: Given the continuous development of 3D technologies and printing materials, market researchers expect annual growth rates in dental 3D printing of between 17 and 25 percent by 2025.

Here, a growing trend towards dental splints from the 3D printer has been seen. These are used, among other things, for invisible straightening of the teeth, but also for other issues such as teeth grinding. Due to today's hectic daily life, clenching or grinding teeth at night (the medical term is “bruxism”) has become very common. International studies show that worldwide, as many as 20 percent of the population clenches and grinds their teeth. So dentists are increasingly prescribing so-called crunch splints, which can be 3D printed locally in the dental practice.

The majority of these customized 3D printed dental splints are produced using a mold made from photopolymers. That's where Evonik comes in: For the expanding 3D printing market, Evonik's Crosslinkers business line offers an exclusive solution to meet the requirements for this growing market application. VESTANAT® TMDI  has proven to be a unique raw material for photopolymers.

Based on Evonik's world-leading isophorone chemistry, VESTANAT® TMDI is used in the production of photopolymers or UV-curing resins. UV resins are used for applications where polymers are exposed to UV light to cure much faster. This type of technology is well known for its use in industrial scale adhesives, printing plates and dental applications. Compared to other products available on the market, VESTANAT® TMDI  gives the resin a low viscosity profile and good dimensional stability for the printed part. To date, Evonik is the only TMDI manufacturer in the world and markets the product under its VESTANAT® TMDI brand.

Crosslinkers - Creating Marketable and Intelligent Solutions

Mechanical strength, durability, chemical resistance and excellent color stability and adhesion properties – Evonik´s business line Crosslinkers offers tailor-made solutions for customers all over the world. As a raw material supplier, we have a profound understanding of the needs of our customers and their unique markets. Our range of products and expertise generates added value in a number of areas: from coatings and adhesives to civil engineering, high-performance elastomers and composites.

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