Leone Develops an Innovative Inverse Approach for Implanting Surgical Guides

“Our Objet 3D Printers are enablers for innovation. We have established a new business line ensuring a well-balanced quality/cost service to our customers.”- Gabriele Scommegna, Leone

Smiling Faces

Dental implants require intricate planning and careful positioning to successfully meet its restorative goals. CT scans assist in diagnosis, providing information for surgical guides to help improve the precision of the implant placement. With the help of 3D printing technology, guides are moving towards a digital future as opposed to traditional guides that were constructed manually.

Leone S.p.a., is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers for orthodontic and implant products. With the help of Stratasys’ 3D printers, they are work on the cutting edge of dental technology as they develop new methods and create advanced surgical guides for implant surgery.

The Challenge

During the planning process, identifying fundamental structures in the patient’s anatomy (alveolar nerve, sinus, bone dimensions) are very important. Once the planning is finished, clinicians use implant surgery guides to develop a treatment plan.

Leone works with dental labs to improve precision and accuracy of their surgical guides. Having invested in two Objet 3D printers in 2011, the company saw an opportunity to combine the benefits of manual surgical guide construction with the advantages of 3D printing digital technology.

The Solution

With the technology inside Objet Connex 3D printers, Leone is able to take data from CT scans and produce models of patient’s jaws with detailed information about their bone, teeth, gums and other underlying structures. It uses Objet’s MED610 transparent material to print the jaw bone and opaque materials for internal details such as veins and nerves, creating a highly accurate and anatomically detailed model.

Maurizio Dolf, Director of Production at Leone says, “When we first considered investing in an Objet 3D printer, we were impressed by the accuracy of the technology, and the high-quality and smooth surface finish that we could achieve.” He adds, “Then, seeing that digital industry with Objet 3D printing could enable Leone to enhance its existing offering and also explore new products and services, the company decided to purchase two machines to give it more options.”

The Value

“The Objet Connex 3D printer, with its multi-material capabilities, has enabled us to investigate novel techniques and develop new products, opening up new lines of business for Leone” writes Sara Savasta, part of the Technical Digital Service team at Leone. She adds, “The company’s unique offering of highly accurate and detailed jaw models reinforces Leone’s reputation as an innovator. It also enhances Leone’s value to its dental laboratory customer base. The transparent models printed with multiple materials enable a clear view of the jaw’s internal structures (i.e. sinus and nerves) and how the implant drill hole impacts the jaw as a whole.”

Gabriele Scommegna, the R&D Director at Leone says, “We believe that dental technicians’ expertise will continue to be valuable, even as dentistry becomes increasingly digital . . . Digitally produced surgical guide models are a way that forward-looking dental labs can continue to leverage existing skills while also taking advantage of digital technology advances.”

Along with creating new surgical guide models, Leone is using their Objet Eden260V 3D printer to increase productivity and efficiency in their business by mass producing digital stone models for orthodontic appliances such as retainers and aligners. This enables Leone to not only reduce lead times to customers but also improve its cost effectiveness without any compromise in product quality.