Laser-sintered appliances: now in stainless steel

Christian Saurman of NEOLab explains why laser sintering in stainless steel can lower risk and increase durability of traditional appliances.

Christian Saurman points out some advantages of NEOLab’s new offering

Innovation is at the forefront of our day-to-day at NEOLab, both in ensuring that we have brought the most sophisticated techniques to the quality of our appliances and in the planning and structure behind our many solution-based products. Our goals are high impact to your bottom line, whether that’s in time, convenience, or efficiency, and one of our most illustrative solutions is 3D-Printed Metal (SLS) appliances. NEOLab is proud to announce that we are now laser sintering in stainless steel, bringing important additional features to this already advantageous workflow.

Stainless steel is a tried-and-true material in the orthodontic world for a reason — its low biocompatibility risk and high durability make it an obvious choice for a variety of traditional appliance applications. The same is certainly true for the more cutting-edge versions of these same devices: CAD-designed and laser-sintered 3D appliances. These appliances come standard with serious time-saving attributes: the intentional design of bands to avoid interproximal and subgingival interference, eliminating the need for spacers or to wait for eruptions, and our patent-pending design process which often includes the appliance framework, eliminating potential breakage points caused by welded joints. Where the introduction of CAD processes alone has provided these significant benefits, the incorporation of stainless steel heaps on even more advantages:

  1. Stainless steel brings an inherent flexibility to your designs, allowing for chairside adjustment of bands and their relationship to the occlusal surface.
  2. With previous CAD iterations, any components requiring functionality had to be completed by hand and welded to SLS chromium cobalt bands. The flexibility of stainless steel allows for the digital design of more appliance components, such as adjustment loops. By designing and printing the entire appliance, welded joints — and their potential breakage points — are largely eliminated.
  3. Stainless steel bonds most efficiently to itself, rather than to another chemical composition (such as chromium cobalt), ultimately resulting in stronger bonds whenever welding is required.
  4. Most orthodontic cements are primed for bonding to stainless steel, and utilizing appliances sintered in stainless steel maintain ideal bonding conditions.
  5. The layered printing process of SLS results in a natural etching, which is significantly enhanced through the use of stainless steel, creating an optimized bonding surface.

SLS stainless steel is available now on any of your preferred fixed-appliance designs.

NEOLab has been a consistent technology leader among orthodontic laboratories and has been a foundational member of the industry since 1976. Our technology-driven approach made us a standout example through the incorporation of intraoral scanners and 3D printing, which has carried us now into the design and production of 3D-printed appliances. NEOLab is a prime laboratory partner for orthodontists nationwide, providing a full support system to their staff, patients, and treatment plans, whether they are well-versed in digital appliances or are just beginning the journey.

For more information, visit


This information was provided by NEOLab.

Dr. Miriam Hall shows how adding technology like NEOLab during the pandemic helped her to thrive in the future.

Since 2001, Christian Saurman has pioneered innovation and solution-based service at NEOLab. His tenacity for orthodontics propels the industry forward in continual improvement, and his passion for the people behind the appliances helps NEOLab keep a patient-centric focus every day.

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