Exciting advancements in 3D printing is now allowing dentists the opportunity to reconstruct entire jaws for patients who have suffered bone loss or injury.
Andrew Dawood, researcher and dentist of Dawood and Turner, recently spoke at WIRED Health to address this latest innovation. With 30 years experience, Dawood has explained that he is ultimately able to design and print the framework needed to perform complex treatment, such as jaw reconstruction, after collecting data from 3D scans.
By using Plaster of Paris, metal, plastic and rubber in his 3D-printing, Dawood is then able to create the desired affect for his patients. This latest development has even proved successful in treating patients who have suffered bone loss or damage through cancer and radiotherapy.
"We're not 3D-printing bone yet – we will one day," he says.
One individual who has benefitted from the treatment already is Josh Stephenson. Stephenson had lost his upper left jaw and roof of mouth through unsuccessful radiotherapy after suffering from malignant melanoma. Dawood was able to reconstruct Stephenson's jaw using the latest technology by taking 3D prints of his jaw and assessing how best to repair it through surgery.
Dawood states this technique allows him to be more "accurate and return our patient to society faster". It enables them to have "natural looking restorations" and ultimately improves their quality of life.