Apr 26, 2018 | By David

Researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo have made use of 3D printing to create an innovative new dental device. They have built a set of dentures that is capable of treating the nasty fungal infections that can often develop in the mouths of denture wearers. Unlike other treatments such as antiseptic mouthwashes, baking soda, and microwave disinfection, which require the dentures to be removed first, these new 3D printed dentures can administer the treatment while they are being worn. They are filled with microscopic capsules that periodically release Amphotericin B, an anti-fungal medication.

"The major impact of this innovative 3D printing system is its potential impact on saving cost and time," says Praveen Arany, DDS, PhD, the study's senior author and an assistant professor in the Department of Oral Biology in the UB School of Dental Medicine. "The antifungal application could prove invaluable among those highly susceptible to infection, such as the elderly, hospitalized or disabled patients."

The team’s study, "Functionalized prosthetic interfaces using 3D printing: Generating infection-neutralizing prosthesis in dentistry", was published in the journal Materials Today Communications.

3D printing is rapidly taking over the field of dental fixture manufacturing, with many ceramic 3D printers aimed specifically at this market. The technology allows orthodontists and dental surgeons to create dentures and other dental fixtures alongside the patient, making use of 3D scans in order to get them to fit perfectly. High-performance 3D printable resins that create ceramics materials such as acrylamide have been created specifically for the purpose, and the 3D printing process allows dental fixtures to be produced much faster than conventional casting/molding methods.

This latest breakthrough shows the potential for the increasingly standardized dental 3D printing process to be customized for more advanced applications. The UB team created a set of microspheres to hold the anti-fungal medication Amphotericin B, which were biodegradable and permeable. These spheres were then implanted into the denture material. They protect the drug during the printing process, and then as they degrade over time they gradually release their payloads into the patient’s mouth to fight the infections that can cause inflammation, redness and swelling in the mouth.

The project involved the development of a new form of acrylamide material that was designed to carry the anti-fungal payloads, as well as a novel syringe pump system that was capable of combining the dental polymer and the microspheres during the printing process.

(source: UB)

With tests of the 3D printed dentures proving successful, a similar printing technique could be used for implanting medications into other devices, such as splints, stents, casts and prosthetics. The next step for the researchers will be to reinforce the mechanical strength of these 3D printed dentures. The increased level of porosity in the material that was required to implant the microspheres didn’t cause the dentures to fracture, but did lead to a reduction in strength of up to 35 percent, when compared to conventionally manufactured fixtures. The team will continue to work on improving this issue, as well as focusing on denture relining, readjusting the dentures to maintain a proper fit.

(source: UB)

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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