Student skips dentist, “prints” plastic aligners for $60

 

A student at the New Jersey Institute of Technology skipped the dentist and “printed” his plastic aligners for a perfect smile at a cost of $60. Orthodontics can be notoriously expensive. It is therefore no surprise that his feat attracted a lot of attention and queries. The outraged reaction of experts may betray sectorial interests that may feel threatened. Yet they raise valid points. It is still amateurish work. There is much more than meets the eye when it comes to dental health. Also, the headline does not tell the whole story: this young man had access to a very expensive 3D printer and knew how to operate design software. As an expert commented, he could also have performed Lasik surgery on his eyes but surely the risks far outweighed the benefit (assuming he needed such intervention, anyway.) The time for amateur dentistry may not have come just as yet.

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