Australian woman’s jaw rebuilt with 3D printed titanium implant
An evening in 1989: Susie Robinson was 20 when her car hit a tree. For more than two decades, she has lived with the consequences of this accident among which a broken jaw.
She underwent a dozen surgical procedures to repair her jaw but none of these procedures succeeded in bringing a lasting solution. After another deterioration of her jaw due to the dental implants’ cracking, and another inconclusive surgical procedure, Dr. George Dimitroulis proposed her in September 2016 a new and unorthodox solution.
The solution implies the use of 3D printing to design a custom-made titanium implant. The implant will serve as a support on which false teeth will be fixed until the reconstruction of Susie Robinson’s jaw bones.
With Susie’s approval, Dr. George Dimitroulis successfully realized the one-hour surgical procedure.
In less than a week, Susie R. had regained a “normal mouth” for the first time in 30 years. For her, it is as if she forgot to put on her denture.
For the surgeon, the 3D printing is an innovation that will allow his colleagues to gain time and precision during their operations.
According to him, medical and dental professions are quite conservative. In fact, a wedge is often driven to block the road to new technologies, which are considered as a threat to existing techniques.
His biggest challenge today is to raise awareness on the solution the 3D printing could bring to the difficulties encountered in the profession.