The field of 3D printing continues to open up new possibilities for science and medicine, according to new developments reported by 3Ders.org. Researchers in Singapore created a 3D printed scaffolding that can be used to grow bone. This invention is particularly significant for patients who need dental implants.

Invention and Discovery

The researchers in Singapore crafted a unique 3D-printed scaffold, with a design that makes it possible to “grow” new bone material. The newly created bone is then used in the replacement of missing or extracted teeth. Instead of the pain, invasiveness, and cost of bone grafting, patients may soon be able to experience the cheaper, less invasive method of bone growing instead.
“Bone substitutes take a long time to be absorbed by the body,” said Dr. Goh Been Tin, NDCS deputy director of research and education. “In comparison, the scaffold is absorbed fully and much faster by the body, and is cheaper to make.”

Teamwork and Testing

The research team that developed this groundbreaking technology involved a collaborative effort between Nanyang Technological University and the National Dental Centre Singapore (NDCS). For five whole years, the team laboured over their design. At last, they tested it on seven patients with great success. After the second trial on 132 patients is complete, the new technology may begin appearing in the offices of dentists in Singapore and around the world.

Broader Implications for Medicine

The discovery has significance for a much broader segment of the population, not just those who need dental implants. With this kind of technology, medical researchers may also be able to grow bone for hip replacements and similar treatments. As the planet’s population ages, this type of effective technology will be even more in demand.

Additional Uses for 3D Imaging and 3D Printing

NDCS has already implemented similar 3D imaging and 3D printing methods for corrective jaw surgery. 3D plastic templates are used as guides during an operation, which 3D printed skull models allow surgeons to practice before the actual event. With the models, surgeons can get a more precise picture of the person’s skull and how they need to work with it during surgery. Vital anatomy is also more obvious on a 3D model. Thanks to the use of models, the likelihood of complications during surgery has gone down, and the surgery times have been faster.

Even though 3D printing has been in use for a while, nothing quite like the new bone-growing scaffolding has ever been created. The following years and future tests should reveal just how important this invention could be.

Cutting-Edge Technology and Treatments

At Orchard Scotts Dental, a top dental clinic in Singapore, we strive to stay on the cutting edge of modern technology. We’re always looking for better ways to help our patients achieve the comfortable bite, attractive smile, and better oral health that they want. For dental implants, porcelain veneerswhitening treatments, Invisalign, or other solutions, call Orchard Scotts Dental today. Our friendly office staff will arrange for you to have a personal consultation with one of our expert dentists in Singapore. We look forward to meeting you!

Source: 3Ders.org, 11 Oct, 2016