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News Asia Pacific

A patient with a temporomandibular joint disorder received a 3-D-printed jaw implant. Such technologies have become increasingly important in different areas of health care. (Image: University of Melbourne)
Jun 23, 2015 | News Asia Pacific

Melbourne surgeons implant Australia’s first 3-D-printed mandibular joint

by Surgical Tribune

MELBOURNE, Australia: In collaboration with medical engineers, oral and maxillofacial surgeons at the University of Melbourne have recently implanted a temporomandibular joint prosthesis in a young man suffering from a rare congenital jaw deformity. This is the first time a custom-made mandibular joint replacement using 3-D printing technology has been performed in Australia.

The patient, Richard Stratton, was born with condylar aplasia, a developmental defect of the mandibular condyle. He was missing a temporomandibular joint, which resulted in a lack of growth in the left side of his face and a noticeably skew mandible. The condition also affected jaw motion, chewing capacity and facial expression.

Stratton’s jaw was surgically reconstructed with a new titanium prosthesis. It was manufactured using the latest 3-D metal printing technology, which was developed and tested in collaboration with 3D Medical, one of Australia’s leading medical and health care technology providers.

According to the university surgeons, the biomechanical and clinical results look promising. They believe that this technology will help facilitate the research and manufacture of customised high-tech implantable devices in Australia.

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