First 3D printed lower jaw implant in China
The first use of 3D printing technology for a lower-jaw reconstruction surgery in China was announced by Shanghai Medical Association vice president Liu Guoqin who is the director of the dental center at Military Hospital 411. The patient, Ms. Sun, suffered from a tumor which caused serious damage to her lower jaw. She was discharged from the hospital on the third of January. 'I didn't think I could look the same as before' said Ms. Sun, who also expressed her surprise at the speed with which technology is developing. Her surgery released her from 5 years of pain and revealed a long-lost smile.
Ms. Sun received a 3D printed titanium lower jaw implant during her operation – which was completed by Zhang Qingfu of the oral surgery center together with Dr. Gang. 3D technology such as CT image reconstruction, computer-aided design, and biomechanical analysis was used to make the mandible prosthesis light weight and of good biocompatibility.
In recent years, 3D printing technology in the medical field has recieved more and more attention. Hospital 411 in China is actively striving toward the development of cutting-edge 3D printing technology in medical applications. This surgery is an important step, as it is the first time 3D printing technology has been used in correcting mandibular defects in China.
Mandibular defects are caused by multiple traumas, cancer, and other causes. The mandible is the main bone in the lower 1/3 of the face and has an important role in facial aesthetics. The mandible is connected to the skull through the temporomandibular joint and is essential for basic functions such as chewing, keeping the airway open, and maintaining the ability to speak.
Titanium 3D printing allows mandibular defects to be repaired in an individualized manner while avoiding difficult bone grafts – this saves time in both surgery and recovery.