Orthodontics stands on a junction where traditional analog appliance manufacturing slowly but steadily changes to a digital one with the use of 3D technology. The main cause of this shift was the invention and use of computers. The use of computers, computer-aided design (CAD) software, computerized machines, and newly invented materials allowed this change to occur in a relatively short time in dentistry and orthodontics. The trigger for this transformation is the ability to digitally scan the oral cavity. CAD software and 3D printers already existed. It took a few years to include this technology in orthodontics and continuously apply it in the orthodontic office. Orthodontic treatment is mainly based on the use of fixed appliances, while in the last years, thermoformed aligners have been introduced as an alternative whenever a more invisible treatment modality is preferred. Clear aligner treatment is performed using thermoformed aligner. A new aligner resin has been recently invented to allow direct aligner printing. Directly printed aligner possess many advantages compared to thermoformed one. Research has been initiated to investigate all the aspects of the workflow and aligner printing outcome. More studies must be performed to look into the various aspects of directly printed aligners.
Keywords: 3D printing; 3D technology; UV curing unit; directly printed aligner; nitrogen generator.