Belgian doctors performed a dental procedure that had never been done before.
Thanks to the doctors’ work, they enabled an 83-year-old woman to become the first person to ever undergo a jawbone transplant. The artificial jawbone was developed with the help of a 3-dimensional printer.
The doctors and engineers used the latest technology to create the custom metal jawbone, which was made from layers of titanium. The jawbone was placed into the woman’s lower jaw and was used to take the place of a large segment that suffered major infection.
This 3-D technology has been used to develop prototypes for years but had yet to actually been used on a person. Scientists now are experimenting with using the technology in procedures. In this particular case, 3-D scans of the woman’s jaw were utilized to make the artificial jaw that was tailored to her.
The woman needed a new jaw because she suffered from osteomyelitis. The antibiotics she was taking weren’t working and reconstructive surgery was risky based on her age. That’s why the doctors offered the possibility of having the artificial jaw.
This revolutionary development could be extremely beneficial to many people who suffer from irreversible jaw damage.