Desktop Health
With the versatility of the material and the efficiency of the additive manufacturing process, dental professionals can provide their patients with customized, high-quality dental prosthetics.

Desktop Health and Carbon Partner to 3D Print Dental Prosthetics

Aug. 21, 2023
The first Flexcera nanoceramic resin validated for Carbon systems is Desktop Health’s Flexcera Smile Ultra+, an FDA 510(k) cleared Class II material for permanent, 3D-printable dental restorations.

Desktop Health, a brand of Desktop Metal, and Carbon, two leaders in the oral health additive manufacturing space, have joined forces to bring the Flexcera family of resins to the Carbon Digital Manufacturing Platform. This collaboration opens access to the nanoceramic resin, starting with Flexcera Smile Ultra+, for use in 3D printing permanent dental restorations. The Flexcera Smile Ultra+ resin, along with the upcoming release of Flexcera Base, represents a significant advancement in digital dentistry, providing exceptional strength, life-like aesthetics and long-term performance.

The development of Flexcera Smile Ultra+ is the result of more than three years of research and development. The proprietary formulation of the resin features synthesized long-chain chemistry, which is polymerized using a high-powered 385 nm wavelength. This process creates tightly cross-linked polymers that possess ceramic-like strength and life-like aesthetics, making it ideal for 3D printing both temporary and permanent dental prosthetics.

Cleared For Class II Medical Devices

One of the key advantages of Flexcera Smile Ultra+ is its safety for use in the mouth. Desktop Health ensures the material’s safety through rigorous regulatory approval processes. The Flexcera family of dental resins has undergone extensive biocompatibility testing and adheres to various ISO standards related to dental material properties.

“Flexcera Smile Ultra+ has been FDA 510(k) cleared for Class II medical devices since February 2022, for 3D printing temporary and permanent dental prosthetics,” says Casey Seale, marketing director at Desktop Health.

According to a press release issued by Desktop Health, this commitment to safety, combined with high-accuracy printer platforms and premium biocompatible materials, ensures the delivery of reliable and regulatory-approved dental and medical solutions.

The 3D printing process for Flexcera prosthetics involves the use of lab-grade 3D printers built by Desktop Health engineers. “Desktop Health engineers build lab-grade 3D-printers for high production with speed and repeatability. Flexcera is validated on Desktop Health, EnvisionTEC, Carbon printers that are built with 385 nm high-powered projectors for polymerization to a solid,” Seale says. This versatility allows dental professionals to utilize the material and 3D printing process in both lab settings and dental offices.

Implementing the additive manufacturing process with Flexcera offers several advantages for dental professionals. Digital prosthetics reduce the need for back-and-forth interactions between labs and practices, Seale notes, which leads to a more efficient and improved patient experience. With digital dentures, clinicians can print a try-in, make necessary adjustments, scan the try-in, and send it back to the lab.

This streamlined workflow significantly reduces the number of appointments required for fabricating final dentures compared to traditional analog methods, Seale says. Additionally, dentists have the option to 3D print monolithic dentures in a single appointment, further enhancing efficiency and precision fit.

IFUs Ensure Predictable Workflow

While implementing the material and process, there are challenges that can be overcome through careful adherence to the instructions for use (IFU). Following the IFU ensures a predictable workflow, resulting in reliable and consistent results, Seale explains, noting that by familiarizing themselves with the workflow and best practices, dental professionals can ensure a fast start and optimal outcomes.

The partnership between Desktop Health and Carbon to bring Flexcera resins to the Carbon Digital Manufacturing Platform marks a significant milestone in the field of digital dentistry. The development of Flexcera Smile Ultra+ and the upcoming release of Flexcera Base showcases the potential of 3D printing in creating permanent dental restorations with strength and life-like aesthetics.

With the versatility of the material and the efficiency of the additive manufacturing process, dental professionals can provide their patients with customized, high-quality dental prosthetics. Through this collaboration, Desktop Health and Carbon continue to push the boundaries of innovation in the dental industry, improving patient lives with trusted technology and regulatory-approved solutions.

“With 20-plus years of R&D and as a leader in digital light processing (DLP) for the dental, medical and industrial space, Desktop Health is deeply committed to delivering trusted technology paired with premium biocompatible, regulatory-approved solutions to improve patient lives,” Seale says. 

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