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First Maxillofacial Surgery With 3D Printer in Iran
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First Maxillofacial Surgery With 3D Printer in Iran

A team of surgeons at the Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences and Health Services  in Yazd used local 3D printing technology in an oral and maxillofacial surgery for the first time in the country. The surgery costs and duration were also found to be lower.  
At times, oral and maxillofacial surgeries require the removal of part of the jaw bones, which is replaced with specially built “plate”. Plates have to be built as compatible as possible with the hosting face to avoid facial malformations. Building such a plate is a time consuming surgical procedure. Close observations and removing the damaged bone, as well as plate implantation are only possible during anesthesia.
Thanks to a 3D printer manufactured in Iran, a team of surgeons from the university led by Dr. Alireza Navvab Azam produced a close replica of a 48-year-old patient’s jaw; the patient was suffering from mandible Squamous Cell Cancer (SCC). The surgical procedure for replacing the damaged bone structure with the plate also cut time by 35-40%, besides costs of the procedure.
In humans, the mandible is the largest, strongest and lowest bone in the face forming the lower jaw while holding the lower teeth in place.
Shenasa, a private venture capital fund founded in 2011 with the objective of identifying and supporting innovative and profitable enterprises, supported the first domestic producer of 3D printers – ‘The Smart Technologies of the Third Millennium Company’ (in Farsi: Mashin-haye houshmand-e hezaare sevvom), where experts produced the mandible model with errors below 32 micron.  Shenasa is part of the Pasargad financial group.
The previously practiced method of stereo lithography (SL), an additive manufacturing or 3D printing technology used for producing models, prototypes, patterns, and production parts one layer at a time by curing a photo-reactive resin with a UV laser or another similar power source, was expensive and the equipment itself was impossible to purchase for clinics, making it only practical in manufacturing laboratories. “3D printers and their modeling services on the other hand, are affordable and practical for clinics,” said Navvab, adding that “the technology is especially convenient for facial joint asymmetry surgical procedures,” Jamejam reports. 

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