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Dentists are Now Capable of Using 3D Printers to Reconstruct Entire Jaws

by • May 2, 2016 • No Comments

Josh Stephenson holding his 3D printed skull.

Josh Stephenson holding his 3D printed skull.

In 2009, style developer Josh Stephenson was diagnosed with a rare type of eye cancer that had spread throughout his face. After unsuccessfully undergoing radiotherapy in 2010, the cancer continued to spread so the doctors were forced to remove it. Altogether, Stephenson had his left eye, his upper jaw and the roof of his mouth removed. It took a huge team of surgeons, and several months of treatments, to remove all of the cancer, and and so go in and reconstruct his jaw. After the surgery and his eventual recoquite, Stephenson was inspired to turn it into his own line of bespoke umbrella handles via the innovation that assisted donate him his jaw back — 3D printing.

This 3D render of Stephenson's skull shows the removed skull in Green, the shoulder blade utilized to re-build his cheek bone in Red and the metal sockets for false teeth in Blue.

This 3D render of Stephenson’s skull shows the removed skull in green, the shoulder blade utilized to re-build his cheek bone in red and the metal sockets for false teeth in blue.

Reconstructing a patient’s jaw is complex under normal circumstances, when, say, there are just broken bones and a few lost teeth to repair. But Stephenson was in fact missing many of his jaw by the time the cancerous tissue was removed, and that may manufacture an may already complex procedure all that much additional complex. Thankfully, his dental surgeon had been via 3D printing in his practice since 1999 and knew exactly how to deploy it to assist Stephenson. By the time all things was done, Andrew Dawood of UK dental practice Dawood and Tanner may end up via multiple 3D printing technologies at multiple stages throughout the reconstruction system.

“Josh had a life threatening cancer behind his eye, he succeded in rad treatment at Moorfields Eye Hospital and the Royal London Hospital of surgeons Dr David Verity and Professor Iain Hutchison. I was required to be part of the reconstruction system via dental implants, we utilized both 3D printing and digital milling innovation to manufacture the reconstruction as accurate and seamless as possible,” Dawood explained to TCT.

By via medical scan data, Dawood was able-bodied to turn it into a 3D printed version of Stephenson’s skull. The version allows for him to see exactly what structure of his skull was left intact, what may require to be repaired and what may require to be replaced altogether. Once he had a surgical plan in place, he utilized metal 3D printing devices to turn it into what may be utilized as a framework around that to rebuild the jaw. The metal 3D printed part was machine milled into the exact shape requireed, and a team of surgeons utilized it in combination with part of Stephenson’s shoulder blade to turn it into his new jaw.

3D versionling surgical manuals and via a 3D printed skull for surgical preplanning.

(L)3D versioning surgical manuals; (R) via a 3D printed skull for surgical preplanning.

Dawood in addition deployed 3D printing to turn it into exact surgical manuals, so he may understand exactly where to cut any remaining bone tissue, and where to join it back together again. The surgical manuals are produced via the same medical data utilized to turn it into a 3D version of the skull, and via desktop software doctors can simulate where equite cut requires to be created. They and so 3D print both the cutting manual, that allows for them to manufacture quite exact cuts, and surgical manuals that can hold the cut bone fragments in place while pins, implants and other surgical devices are put into place.

Of course, the many common 3D printing innovation utilized in the reconstruction was the actual production of the replacement teeth. Dentists have been via a modern update of the lost wax system to turn it into the tooth implants, and the wax versions are printed on say of the art 3D printing devices. Additionally, any molds of the patient’s teeth and jaw that may traditionally be created or any parts that may require to be cast in Plaster of Paris were now entirely 3D printed. Virtually equite step of the awe-inspiring dental surgical procedure may not have been possible, or maybe as successful, without 3D printing innovation.

The 3D printed umbrella handles created by Stephenson.

The 3D printed umbrella handles created by Stephenson.

Throughout an ordeal that may test anyone, Stephenson remained positive and upbeat, and his experiences ended up rejuvenating his create career. As a former luxury developer who worked for the world famous London-based department keep Harrods, Stephenson always had the desire to turn it into luxury umbrellas with one-of-a-kind handles, but for the reason of the cost of injection molding it never quite seemed possible. Until he held a 3D printed copy of his skull in his hand, that is.

Interestingly, it was Dawood who may once again come to Stephenson’s rescue by offering the 3D create and printing services of his own 3D printing bureau, Digits2Widgets, to assist turn it into the line of luxury umbrellas. You can learn additional of the different types of 3D printing technologies utilized by Dawood and Tanner on their website, and you can learn additional of Stephenson and his line of umbrellas here. What are your thoughts on the use of this innovation here? Discuss in the 3D Printed Jaw Reconstruction forum over at 3DPB.com.

The 3D printed umbrella handles inspired by the 3D printed skull.

The 3D printed umbrella handles inspired by the 3D printed skull.