3-D Printing Improves Care at University Dental Hospital of Wales

Dentistry Today


Renishaw is now collaborating with the University Dental Hospital of Wales (UDH) in Cardiff to overcome some of the challenges associated with surgical implants by using 3-D printing. UDH previously has used Renishaw’s additive manufacturing (AM) services to produce dental products such as cobalt chrome frameworks, custom maxillofacial implants, and surgical guides.

By using custom made devices, hospitals can reduce surgery time since each device is designed to fit the patient, unlike standard off the shelf implants, Renishaw reports. Standard implants also may need modifications, or the surrounding bone may need extra trimming for the device to fit. Custom devices improve the patient experience, reduce the risks related to extended time under anesthesia, save surgical time, and save costs.

“AM allows hospitals to achieve high precision when producing implants,” said Ed Littlewood, marketing manager of Renishaw’s Medical and Dental Products Division. “By collaborating with Renishaw, UDH can develop their maxillofacial implants further, seeing improvements with each case and helping a wider range of patients and surgeons across different departments.” 

“Several hospitals are reaping the benefits of additive manufacturing in implant production. We have the advantage of having worked with Renishaw for three years in the dental field. This has put us ahead of the game and in a position where we can now start thinking about producing more unique designs that will benefit our surgeons,” said Roger Maggs, senior chief dental technologist and head of dental technology services at UDH.

“The staff at UDH also are benefitting from the partnership. The team are involved in every stage of the development of new technologies for medical applications, including inputting CT data and making and manipulating digital models ahead of surgery,” said Maggs. 

UDH treats 100,000 patients each year and is a teaching hospital for Cardiff University’s School of Dentistry. It is the only teaching dental hospital in Wales. Renishaw is the only manufacturer in the United Kingdom of metal additive manufacturing machines and works with hospitals across Europe to develop technologies to benefit surgeons and patients, the company says.

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