October 05, 2021 3 min read
Follow the Mexico-based orthodontist & dental surgeon's journey into digital dentistry.
His goal: making advanced dental care accessible to & affordable for anyone.
His enthusiasm for digital dentistry is infectious - the same enthusiasm & passion has driven him not just to establish his own orthodontics office in Chihuahua, Mexico, but also to pursue a career in educating the newest generation of dentists as a lecturer at the Autonomous University of Chihuahua. Now he's taking the next step - supporting established dental professionals across the Americas in digitizing their offices with Ackuretta's 3D printing solutions.
We met Dr. Ocañas for a chat about the Mexican dental industry, how to best educate the younger generation and to ask how his dental workflows have changed with Ackuretta's 3D printing system.
A digital workflow is becoming increasingly important in Mexican dental offices. We are able to offer a whole range of new treatments to the patient. It is an incredible opportunity for all of us. 3D printing affects all areas of dentistry. However, Mexico’s dental industry is just slowly adapting and since most providers of full digital solutions are foreign companies, the choices are still limited.
Dr. Ocañas at his dental office in Chihuahua, Mexico with his end-to-end Ackuretta 3D printing solution.
It seems to be the case that there is still a lack of awareness. Dentists don’t know the variety of options that digital dentistry offers. This unawareness leads to a stagnant industry, in which especially rural areas don’t get to experience the advantages of 3D printing.
We need to educate more, especially the younger generation of dentists and dental students need to be able to use 3D printing equipment and see its impact first-hand. All dentists could benefit from a digitized workflow, but to fight the unawareness, it is our job to educate first and an increasing number of digital dental clinics will be the result.
A university that is not incorporating dental 3D printing in its curriculum is missing the mark. Students are developing their professional skills, and this must include their technological skills.
In my opinion, that should mean that there’s an offer to all dental students to attain the theoretical, clinical, and laboratory background needed for a full digital workflow. Upon graduating from university, the student should be able to work with the latest technology and not require months of further training.
I personally already incorporate digital orthodontics in my classes and strive to train competent and tech-savvy specialists.
Before we digitized our office, we've had to order aligners for our patients - a time-consuming, expensive, and often frustrating process for the patients and myself. We've had to outsource much of our workflow, which included scanning and also the aligner production.
Now, I can produce aligners while I am seeing other patients in-house. It requires only one appointment to get a set of aligners - instead of 3 or 4. While we take care of the 3D printing and thermosetting, patients can go about their daily lives and just return to pick up the finished result.
The process is even easier for occlusal guards. With Ackuretta SOL, CLEANI, CURO materials and UV Box, I can print and finish an occlusal guard in less than 90 minutes.It's a matter of skilled scanning and then it's just a few "clicks". Once you go digital, you'll never go back.
Dr. Fermin Ocañas & his team at Le Dent Ortodoncia in Chihuahua, Mexico.
You can find out more about Dr. Ocañas and his team on Facebook and Instagram.
In 10 years, dentistry will be completely digitized incorporating bioactive impression materials that help to regenerate the tissue of dental organs. I believe that we will step away from printing with resins and other inert materials. The greatest potential for dentistry truly lies within technology and the development of biomaterials that are truly compatible with tissue.
Or why not print enamel or dentin true to the anatomic shape? I truly think that we are incredibly close to achieving unseen breakthroughs in dentistry and I am excited to be part of this journey as a partner of Ackuretta.