David Goldstein, a resident of Tiberias, initially came to the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery with complaints that he was suffering from non-specific pain in his jaw. A series of tests soon confirmed that he had a large metastatic tumor, measuring close to half an inch, in the back of his jaw.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, metastatic tumors in the oro-facial region are quite rare, accounting for only 1-1.5% of all malignant oral tumors, and can be very difficult to treat. At the same time, such tumors can grow rapidly, leading to pain, difficulty chewing, and disfigurement.
“Surgery of metastasis in the jaw are not commonly done,” said Dr. Imad Abu al-Naag, head of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department in Poriya. “On the other hand, we know that an oncological treatment—radiation and chemotherapy—don’t solve the [missing jaw tissue] problem. So, after consulting with the oncologists at Rambam and Sheba hospitals, we decided to make the rare move in such a case and perform surgery.”
Knowing this would be a complex and unique case, the medical team turned to A.B. Dental, a company that specializes in producing custom-made dental implants using cutting-edge technologies, including computerized implant planning, 3D printed surgical guides, and metal 3D printed implants made using SLS technology.
Just earlier this year, A.B. Dental used its 3D printing medical expertise to rebuild an injured Syrian man’s face.
Using 3D medical imaging, A.B. Dental was able to create an exact titanium replica of Goldstein’s healthy jaw, which was implanted with no complications. “It’s the best treatment available around the world today,” said Dr. Avi Toueg, a senior member of the department.
According to Dr. Imad, the surgery, which normally takes up to six hours, was performed in only two. Better yet, the 3D printed jaw prosthetic has numerous advantages that will help to improve Goldstein’s quality of life.
First, Dr. Imad noted the cosmetic advantage of the 3D printed part, which perfectly replaced his previous jaw and did not alter his facial appearance in any way. In terms of functionality, the 3D printed jaw also does not require the patient to adjust his chewing—a common issue with traditionally used plates, and one that resulted in a high rate of broken plate. In fact, just a few hours after surgery, doctors reported that Goldstein was already eating normally.
“[A.B. Dental created a] perfect copy of David’s jaw,” said Dr. Toueg, “That enabled us to locate the jaw precisely in its place, and, most important, it will facilitate an immeasurably better functionality compared with the plates that were used in the past.”
The 3D printed jaw implant, one of the first in Israel, is a major success story, and one that will hopefully inspire more doctors and patients, both in Israel and around the world, to adopt 3D printed medical solutions to improve operations and patient outcomes.
While this procedure is one of the first of its kind in Israel, it is not the first in the world. Previously, 3D printed prosthetic jaw implants have saved the lives of patients in Australia, India, South Africa, andChina.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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