Dutch surgeons have successfully fitted an 83-year-old woman with an artificial jaw made using a 3D printer. The patient had developed a chronic bone infection, and reconstructive surgery would have been too risky because of her age, so they opted for the new technology.
The implant replaced almost the entire lower jawbone. Its design incorporates articulated joints, polished joint surfaces and a bioceramic coating. It restored the patient’s facial aesthetics and allowed her to regain her speech within hours. This operation was the first of its kind in the world, and could herald a new era of accurate, patient-specific artificial transplants.