Cancer patient who had jaw removed gets new teeth via 3D printing

An Indian cancer patient who had a substantial section of his palate removed after undergoing surgery to remove a tumor has been given a new set of teeth with the help of 3D printing.

The patient, a 41-year-old man from Bangalore, underwent infrastructure maxillectomy surgery, removal of the upper jaw and palate. This exposed his nose and maxillary sinus to the oral cavity. He also had radiotherapy for six weeks and consequently developed trismus, due to radiation-induced fibrosis. This left the patient barely able to open his mouth.

Eating was difficult because food went into his nose and the maxillary defect; his speech was affected and also his facial appearance.

Since the patient was unable to eat properly and had difficulty speaking, physicians decided to create a prosthetic for him. But because he couldn’t open his mouth widely, it was almost impossible to take an impression to create a prosthetic.

Many dentists tried and refused to give him an obturator (a prosthetic device that blocks fissures in the palate), because it was nearly impossible to take an impression and prepare a mold, according to Deepak Raj, co-founder of df3d, a design factory for 3D printing, and Osteo3d, a Bangalore-based company that specializes in 3D printing for healthcare. … (Read more)