Jan 9, 2017 | By Tess

A British man who suffered a serious facial injury from a cycling accident now has a rebuilt and functioning jaw thanks to a team of dedicated doctors who used 3D printing technologies to help in the rebuilding process.

Cycling accidents happen on too frequent a basis, and can be caused by cars, pot holes, or lapses in attention. George Boden, a resident of High Easter in Essex, UK, succumbed to the latter in 2011 while on a training cycle, crashing violently into a piece of machinery and causing himself serious injury. The impact ripped most of his jaw off. “I was out for a training spin, looked at my watch, and the next minute I’d slammed into a piece of machinery around the corner,” Boden recalls.

Since the accident, Boden has undergone a number of treatments, the most significant of which involved surgeons taking bone from his shoulder and combining it with a titanium plate to create a new jaw. This operation, however, resulted in a jaw that had no bottom teeth and a mouth about the size of a walnut.

Dr. Iain Hutchison

More recently, however, Veronique Sauret-Jackson and her team, from London-based dental and medical imaging company Cavendish Imaging, were able to create a 3D printed model of Boden’s jaw using a CT scan and a laser sintering 3D printer. The accurate 3D printed models were then used to assist a team of surgeons in making Boden’s jaw more refined and closer to his original pre-accident facial structure.

Dr. Iain Hutchison, who led the patient’s surgery, explained: “We use [3D printing] to plan the operation. We use it to design exactly what we are going to take.” Not only was the 3D printed jaw model used for surgery prep, however, but it was also used to create custom fitted teeth implants for the patient’s new jaw. Another 3D printed model was used to help stretch out the patient’s jaw before the surgery took place.

Significantly, 3D printing did not simply play an important part of the new surgical procedures, but it also gave the patient, Mr. Boden, a renewed sense of hope surrounding his predicament. As the patient told the BBC, “I’ve found two things. First of all if you know you are going to get a solution you can keep going, and secondly, red wine helps enormously.” Jokes aside, it is inspiring and comforting to see what amazing medical feats can be achieved with the help of bespoke 3D printed models.

George Boden



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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