Endodontic applications of 3D printing

Int Endod J. 2018 Sep;51(9):1005-1018. doi: 10.1111/iej.12917. Epub 2018 Mar 23.


Computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) technologies can leverage cone beam computed tomography data for production of objects used in surgical and nonsurgical endodontics and in educational settings. The aim of this article was to review all current applications of 3D printing in endodontics and to speculate upon future directions for research and clinical use within the specialty. A literature search of PubMed, Ovid and Scopus was conducted using the following terms: stereolithography, 3D printing, computer aided rapid prototyping, surgical guide, guided endodontic surgery, guided endodontic access, additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping, autotransplantation rapid prototyping, CAD, CAM. Inclusion criteria were articles in the English language documenting endodontic applications of 3D printing. Fifty-one articles met inclusion criteria and were utilized. The endodontic literature on 3D printing is generally limited to case reports and pre-clinical studies. Documented solutions to endodontic challenges include: guided access with pulp canal obliteration, applications in autotransplantation, pre-surgical planning and educational modelling and accurate location of osteotomy perforation sites. Acquisition of technical expertise and equipment within endodontic practices present formidable obstacles to widespread deployment within the endodontic specialty. As knowledge advances, endodontic postgraduate programmes should consider implementing 3D printing into their curriculums. Future research directions should include clinical outcomes assessments of treatments employing 3D printed objects.

Keywords: 3D printing; autotransplantation; guided access; guided endodontic surgery; rapid prototyping; stereolithography.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Computer-Aided Design
  • Endodontics / instrumentation
  • Endodontics / methods*
  • Humans
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional*