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Three-Dimensional Technology Applications in Maxillofacial Reconstructive Surgery: Current Surgical Implications

academic article

Yasmin Ghantous 1,† , Aysar Nashef 1,* ,† , Aladdin Mohanna 1 and Imad Abu-El-naaj 1,2

Defects in the oral and maxillofacial (OMF) complex may lead to functional and esthetic impairment, aspiration, speech difficulty, and reduced quality of life. Reconstruction of such defects is considered one of the most challenging procedures in head and neck surgery. Transfer of different auto-grafts is still considered as the “gold standard” of regenerative and reconstructive procedures for OMF defects. However, harvesting of these grafts can lead to many complications including donor-site morbidity, extending of surgical time, incomplete healing of the donor site and others. Three-dimensional (3D) printing technology is an innovative technique that allows the fabrication of personalized implants and scaffolds that fit the precise anatomy of an individual’s defect and, therefore, has attracted significant attention during the last few decades, especially among head and neck surgeons. Here we discuss the most relevant applications of the 3D printing technology in the oral and maxillofacial surgery field. We further show different clinical examples of patients who were treated at our institute using the 3D technology and discuss the indications, different technologies, complications, and their clinical outcomes. We demonstrate that 3D technology may provide a powerful tool used for reconstruction of various OMF defects, enabling optimal clinical results in the suitable cases.

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