A man from Bangalore who lost much of his upper jaw to cancer — and his subsequent surgery — found solace and remarkable recovery thanks to 3D printing. The process appeared highly unlikely with traditional methods, but 3D printing technology made the implant possible, and the 41 year old patient went from a debilitating situation to newfound normalcy. The dental and medical industries have long been aware of the benefits associated with innovative 3DP enhanced surgery and implantation, and this case yields similar results once again making a loud claim for us to take notice and further embrace the practice.
The tumor in the patient’s mouth required surgery, an infrastructure maxilectomy, and removed much of the man’s upper jaw and palate. The surgery left a large exposed cavity between the nose, maxillary sinus and the oral cavity. To further complicate matters, he suffered from trismus, lockjaw, from radiation-induced fibrosis. Unable to open his mouth, dentists refused to attempt prosthetics without the ability to take a proper traditional mold.
Anyone familiar with 3D printing knows the curve of the narrative, and it is wonderful.
A few individuals appeared with another option. Deepak Raj, co-founder of df3d, a design factory for 3D printing, and Osteo3d, a Bangalore-based company specializing in 3D printing for healthcare, came in contact with Dr. Satyajit Dandagi, a maxillofacial surgeon exploring innovative methods to solve this particular case. With the outreach of Dr. Satyajit Dandagi, a possibility came to light.
By using a CT Scan of the patient’s maxillofacial cavity, Raj’s Osteo3d constructed a wax mold and could then form an operable implant. It fit as well as one constructed by traditional methods. After a few preliminary tests, the final product gave the man new life.
“Incredibly, the device was as close to a perfect fit as they could have gotten, even with traditional techniques, improving the patient’s speech, swallowing, eating, smiling, and bone structure,” Raj noted. “The patient is in good health and is able to lead his day-to-day life with no hassles now, thanks to 3D printing.”
Take note of the quality and innovation present with 3D printing that such a remarkable feat is the trusted outcome. It is time for other elements of medicine like insurance tag along down the path trail-blazed in the dental and medical industries struck out by 3DP.