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Fast-Track 3D Digital Dentistry Online Course: Featuring Intraoral Scanning, Free Waxing Software, 3D Printing For Restorative Dentistry, Medical Modeling and Implant Surgical Guides

CE Credits Provided by UNLV School of Dental Medicine

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Are you confused by 3D Printing? Does the thought of being able to go completely digital terrify you? Have you always wanted to make your own surgical guides? Have you talked to sales reps for 3D printing companies and frustrated by how much it costs to get into printing in your own practice/lab?

This exciting course covers everything you, your assistants, and your laboratory needs to know about 3D printing and will answer all of your digital questions and address your digital concerns! We cover the basics all the way up to the advanced level methods of using intraoral and optical scanning techniques, free software to edit dental models, 3D printing techniques, and multiple methods for fabricating surgical guides. We teach using low-cost, desktop grade 3D printers that cost less than $4,000 for a printer and dental models only cost around $1-2 each and surgical guides $4-5 each!

Also included is up to 23 hours of continuing education credits provided by UNLV School of Dental Medicine. Once fully completed, the course provides 15 hours of video-based learning credits and up to 8 hours of independent study CE credits!

This course utilizes learning skills and educational content that is 10% projection slides and 90% video-based education. We emphasize simulated "LIVE" video based techniques to demonstrate the use of scanners, printers, software, and surgical guide fabrication and demonstration. You will be provided with files containing DICOM and STL files of demonstrated cases for you to follow along. Finally, we provide multiple "cheat-sheet" handouts for you to print in your practice to simplify digital techniques for you and your assistants to best learn all of these technologies!

To receive the best education possible, this course is broken down into 5 sections:

Section I: Fundamentals of 3D Dentistry & Intraoral Optical Scanning

Covering all of the basics of digital dentistry, how to incorporate affordable intraoral scanning techniques and a review of multiple scanners available on the market.

Topics include:

  • Historical Overview of 3D Dentistry
  • A Review of Scanners on the Market
  • Cost Analysis
  • Accuracy of Scanners
  • Scanning Workflows
  • Strategies for Implementing Intraoral Scanning into Clinical Practice
  • Clinical Examples Using Scanners

Section II: Using 3D Printers and Free/Open-Source Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Software

This section focuses on the basics of using intraoral scans, exporting STL files, the basics of working with the files including modeling and basic smoothing techniques. We walk you through downloading the software, opening STL files, and working with them. Also included is how to set-up the Formlabs Form2 desktop 3D printer, installing cartridges, and getting basic models to print successfully!

Topics include:

  • Downloading and Installing Software
  • Exporting STL files from an Intraoral Scanner
  • Open STL files in Open Source CAD Software Packages Including Netfabb, Meshmixer
  • Basic and Advanced Editing of Dental Models
  • Working with Multiple STL Layers
  • Exporting Models into STL Files
  • Basics of Clay Modeling
  • Scanning Stone Models with Optical Scanning
  • Setting up a 3D Printer, Installing Resin Cartridges & Tanks
  • Using 3D Printer Software to Print Dental Models
  • UV Curing 3D Printed Models: Techniques and Equipment Choices
  • Finishing and UV Curing Dental Models

Section III: 3D Printing and Free/Open-Source Computer Aided Design (CAD) Techniques for Restorative Dentistry

A comprehensive introduction and in-depth discussion regarding using free software downloaded from the internet to help with basic to advanced restorative dentistry topics. We emphasize using a custom virtual tooth library that you can install into your software for free, using virtual wax-up teeth, wax-up for esthetic restorations, and making clear aligners for missing teeth!

Topics include:

  • Digital Restorative Dentistry Basics
  • Making 3D Printed Bleaching Trays
  • Printing, Fishing, UV Curing Models and Vacuum Forming Trays
  • Using Meshmixer to Modify and Virtually Extract Teeth
  • Creating a Virtual Tooth Library in Meshmixer
  • Intraoral Scanning Denture Teeth
  • Create a 3D Printed Temporary Retainer (Essix®) Using a Virtual Tooth Library
  • Printing the Temporary Retainer, Finishing and UV Curing the Models, Vacuum Forming, Using Composite Resin to Make Teeth in the Temporary Retainer
  • Basic Digital Wax-up Techniques in Meshmixer for Esthetic Dentistry
  • Advanced Digital Waxing for Crown & Bridge Dentistry
  • Printing Models for Crown & Bridge Dentistry Temporaries, Vacuum Forming Matrix, and Clinical Examples of Digital Crown & Bridge Dentistry

Section IV: 3D Printing for Medical and Dental Modeling

This section is quite exciting and fun at the same time! We cover the basics of CBCT scanning, understanding the role of cheeks and soft tissue separation technique, positioning patients for scanning, performing scans, processing DICOM files, and multiple free or low-cost methods to convert from DICOM to STL files for 3D printing. Finally, we cover amazing new innovations of scanning denture teeth, dental models and other objects with your CBCT scanner to utilize in restorative dentistry and printing techniques!

Topics include:

  • Understanding Radiographic Options for Dental Applications
  • Using a CBCT Scanner: Understanding Patient Positioning, Voxels, and Field of View
  • Soft Tissue Isolation
  • Preparing a Patient for a CBCT Scan
  • Making a CBCT Scan and Processing DICOM Files
  • Converting DICOM to STL: Software Options
  • Downloading and Installing Open Source Imaging Software For Converting from DICOM To STL
  • Demonstrating Multiple Software Methods for Converting DICOM to STL
  • Using Open Source CAD Software to Clean-Up Medical Models Prior to Printing
  • Printing Medical Models
  • Finishing, UV Curing, and Polishing Medical Models
  • Scanning Dental Models with a CBCT Scanner
  • Scanning Dentures and Denture Teeth with a CBCT Scanner

Section V: 3D Printing Surgical Guides and Using Blue Sky Plan for Implant Dentistry

Guided implant surgery with 3D printed guides is an amazing way to practice! This exciting section covers everything you will need to get started with 3D printing your own bio-compatible surgical guides in your office for a few dollars instead of hundreds at the laboratory! We cover the basics to advanced concepts and also review actual surgeries and techniques for placing dental implants with guided surgery instruments.

Topics include:

  • Fundamentals of Guided Surgery: Background, Terminology, Techniques, Understanding Trajectory and Detph Control During Surgery
  • Blue Sky Plan Basics: Importing DICOMs & Essential Planning Technique
  • Optical Scanning Options for Fabricating STL Files for Surgical Planning
  • Importing Optical Scans and Fusing Onto CBCT Scan for Implant Planning
  • Advanced Methods of Model Registration: Matching Teeth, Point by Point, Manual Manipulation Techniques
  • Universal Guide Tubes and Surgical Guide Design
  • Indirect, Model-Based Surgical Guides
  • Printing Models, Fitting Guide Tubes, Vacuum Forming Indirect Guides, Polishing, Clinical Examples of Indirect Surgical Guides
  • Changing Resin Tanks & Cartridges for Models vs. Surgical Guides
  • Direct, Digital-Based Surgical Guides: Pilot Guide with Blue Sky Bio Drills
  • Printing Surgical Guides, Cleaning & Finishing, Fitting Guide Tubes, UV Curing, Clinical Examples of Pilot Guided Surgery
  • Direct, Digital-Based Surgical Guides: Fully-Guided Surgical Guides
  • Printing Surgical Guides, Cleaning & Finishing, Fitting Guide Tubes, UV Curing, Clinical Examples of Fully-Guided Surgery


Continuing Education Credits provided by:

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the standards of the Academy of General Dentistry Program Approval for Continuing Education (PACE) through the joint program provider approval of UNLV School of Dental Medicine and Dr. Scherer. UNLV School of Dental Medicine is approved for awarding FAGD/MAGD credit. AGD Pace Provider 213111. Nationally Approved From 6/1/2017 - 5/31/2021.

UNLV School of Dental Medicine is an ADA CERP approved provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.


Your Instructor


Michael Scherer
Michael Scherer

Dr. Michael Scherer is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Loma Linda University, a Clinical Instructor at University of Nevada – Las Vegas, and maintains a practice limited to prosthodontics and implant dentistry in Sonora, California. He is a fellow of the American College of Prosthodontists, has published articles related to implant dentistry, clinical prosthodontics, and digital technology with a special emphasis on implant overdentures. As an avid technology & computer hobbyist, Dr. Scherer’s involvement in digital implant dentistry has led him to develop and utilize new technology with CAD/CAM surgical systems, implement interactive CBCT implant planning, and outside of the box radiographic imaging concepts. Dr. Scherer also maintains several YouTube channels: “LearnLOCATOR”, “LearnLODI”, “LearnSATURNO”, “The 3D Dentist” and "LearnF-Tx" - popular YouTube channels on standard and narrow diameter dental implant procedures and digital dentistry.


Class Curriculum


  Section II - Using 3D Printers and Basics of Computer Aided Design (CAD) Software
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days after you enroll
  Section III - 3D Printing and Computer Aided Design (CAD) for Restorative Dentistry
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days after you enroll
  Section IV - Working with CBCT Scanners and 3D Printing for Medical and Dental Modeling
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days after you enroll
  Section V - 3D Printing and Computer Aided Design (CAD) Software for Implant Dentistry & Guided Surgery
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days after you enroll

Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
For as long as you like! After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
Will I be able to follow-along?
Absolutely! Our course is an interactive, self-guided journey through digital dentistry techniques. Included are interactive files for you to be able to work closely with the instruction given on the screen.

Get started now!