3D Printed Jaw Lets Woman Eat Again

3D Printed Jaw Lets Woman Eat Again

An 83-year-old woman recently had her entire lower jaw replaced with a 3D printed replica.

Given the age of the patient, conventional surgery was too much of a risk. This is where 3D Printing came into play.

Performed by doctors from the University of Hasselt, Belgium, the surgery saw them replace the woman's original, badly infected jaw with a 3D-printed titanium and bioceramic version. The 3D Printer used additive manufacturing technique (laser sintering), a method that allows fabricators to make an item directly from a CAD drawing. Layers of titanium are built up and a laser used to fuse the correct particles together. The entire jaw line was coated in ceramic to make it
compatible with bodily tissue. It weighs 3.7oz — only 1 ounce heavier than an actual jaw.

"The new treatment method is a world premiere because it concerns the first patient-specific implant in replacement of the entire lower jaw," Professor Dr. Jules Poukens, who was part of a team that worked on the implant, said in a statement.

The surgery was a great success – only one day after the procedure, the lady was able to talk and swallow.






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