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Additive Manufacturing Turns Facial Reconstruction into a Bite-size Procedure

Traditional oral bone implants, like above, might not offer the movement or comfort of a custom-made implant.

Patients undergoing facial reconstruction of their jaw bone can face years of grafts and painful surgeries. However, techniques that embrace personalized medicine — like additive manufacturing — can ensure patients have a fully operational implant by dinner.

Bone grafts are painful. The procedure involves harvesting bone from a patient’s ribs or fibula. Doctors then repurpose this bone for another part of the body.

Alternative treatments exist, but they often involve off-the-shelf implants. The trouble is that these implants don’t provide the best fit or range of motion for each patient. They also require certain amounts of remaining bone and teeth which isn’t always the case.

A new procedure from OMX Solutions involves scanning the patient and using the data to design and 3D-print a custom implant. This technique embraces personalized medicine and can have patients ready to eat their next meal.

New Workflow to Design a Custom Oral Bone Implant

How to design a custom oral bone implant with simulation and additive manufacturing.

OMX uses computer simulation, also known as in silico models, to ensure its implants work for each patient.

The first step of the in silico protocol uses data from a CT scan to recreate the geometry of the patient’s bone structure within ANSYS Mechanical. This geometrical model guides OMX as it designs the implant.

OMX then simulates how the bone and implant handle the stresses involved in everyday activities like chewing.

These simulations help identify any issues that the implant may have while interacting with the patient’s bone. For example, some of these simulations prove that the implant is structurally sound and comfortable.

From here, OMX uses additive manufacturing to build the implant out of titanium.

With this workflow, patients are ready to move on with their lives after one visit to the surgeon. This dramatically reduce the time associated with other facial reconstruction procedures.

Additionally, since the microscrews and baseplate of the implant are simulated to provide stability, artificial teeth can be loaded immediately without a healing period. This means the patient is ready to eat their next meal!

To learn about how OMX Solutions designs custom implants for oral surgeries using ANSYS software, read Personalized Implants Restore Smiles.