Lithoz GmbH, provider of world-leading technology for the 3D printing of high-performance ceramics, has started a strategic collaboration with Metoxit and Dr. Jens Tartsch, combining their developments for a project to produce ceramic dental implants via additive manufacturing. Using Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing, it will be possible to quickly and efficiently produce high-strength dental implants which are biocompatible and available in a range of sizes and shapes.
Metoxit, a Swiss high-tech ceramics company, develops and produces innovative oxide ceramics of the highest quality, with a focus on precision medical implants as well as high-performance components for mechanical and electrical engineering applications. With more than 43 years of experience in the field, Metoxit has been a key innovator in ceramic medical applications over the years, both in the areas of hip joint implants and dental applications. Dr. Tartsch, who runs a private dental clinic in Zürich, Switzerland, is the founder and President of the European Society for Ceramic Implantology ESCI and Member of Board of Directors of the Swiss Society for Anti-Aging Medicine and Prevention (SSAAMP). His main focus is ceramic implant dentistry, as well as biomaterial and immunological aspects in dentistry and material incompatibilities. The cooperation of these industry leaders with Austrian-based Lithoz to manufacture dental implants is a new step forward in the field of ceramic 3D printing for medical and dental applications.
In modern dentistry, dental implants play an important role in the reconstruction and restoration of missing teeth in partially or completely edentulous patients. Aesthetics, comfort and biocompatible materials are of the utmost importance when it comes to treating such patients. Their implants must possess good bone ingrowth capabilities and need to be able to withstand the high levels of daily stress placed on them. Thus, the absence of defects such as pores or cracks is even more important than with any other ceramic parts.
Lithoz’s Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing (LCM) technology is intended to ensure that such requirements are met when it comes to producing dental implants. LCM is an efficient and tool-free process - it does not require molds as with other conventional manufacturing techniques and therefore allows for the production of far more complex structures when compared to other methods. The number of manufacturing steps involved is significantly reduced, with intricate features such as inner threads and surface modifications being carried out during the 3D printing process itself. This ensures that the production process is not only reliable but also highly cost-effective.
Components produced via LCM fit suitably to the restored crown and have high mechanical strength, while the ceramic materials used by Lithoz for these applications also have biocompatible properties and facilitate good adhesion between the bone and implant. This method also allows for a broad variety of shapes and sizes when manufacturing these dental components, ensuring every need can be met for different patients.
Lithoz’s systems have been specially designed for LCM techniques and this technology will aid Metoxit in providing the highest level of quality and safety for dental patients. Both companies will benefit greatly from the expert knowledge Dr. Jens Tartsch will bring to the project with his almost 30 years of experience. As Dr. Tartsch states, “this collaboration will result in a joint research project that will optimize the use of 3D printing processes and LCM technology for producing ceramic dental implants, making them suitable for broad range of applications in the future. The integration of further strategic partners and scientific institutions is planned.
About the companies
Metoxit has its origins in the manufacturing of high-performance oxide ceramics. Since the development of ceramic implants in the early 1980s, Metoxit has pushed the limits of quality and reliability and has applied cutting edge technology to provide innovative new solutions for customers in a wide range of businesses. Since the 1990s, dental zirconia for implants has been a focus area, as well as aesthetics. In its quest to keep innovating, Metoxit has identified LCM as a key technology and Lithoz as the leading technology provider. With this partnership, Metoxit intends to offer new solutions to its customers without compromising quality and product safety.
Dr Jens Tartsch, who is an expert in dentistry and ceramic implant dentistry, runs his own dental practice in Zürich, Switzerland. After almost 30 years of experience working with dental implants, Dr. Tartsch is extremely well-versed and trusted when it comes to dental science and implantology, giving lectures for various universities and medical organisations worldwide and carrying out many clinical studies concerning implants and immunology. As well as being a member of several notable dental organisations, he is President of the European Society for Ceramic Implantology and an international speaker, educator and author for metal-free implantology.
Lithoz is a world market and technology leader of 3D printers and materials for the 3D printing of high-performance ceramics. Their systems and materials have a wide range of applications, including in the industrial, aerospace and medical fields, while their use of effective LCM technology for ceramic 3D printing is the best prerequisite for the development of suitable additive manufacturing methods for dental implantology. Their 3D printer, the CeraFab S65 Medical, can manufacture 3D-printed ceramic components with complex structures for dental applications, while their biocompatible ceramic materials are perfectly suited for use in medicine and dentistry. The company has an export share of almost 100%, nearly 70 employees and has founded a subsidiary in the USA in 2017. Lithoz has also been ISO 9001-2015 certified since 2016.