Three-Dimensional Printing: Custom-Made Implants for Craniomaxillofacial Reconstructive Surgery

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Craniomaxillofacial reconstructive surgery is a challenging field. First it aims to restore primary functions and second to preserve craniofacial anatomical features like symmetry and harmony. Three-dimensional (3D) printed biomodels have been widely adopted in medical fields by providing tactile feedback and a superior appreciation of visuospatial relationship between anatomical structures. Craniomaxillofacial reconstructive surgery was one of the first areas to implement 3D printing technology in their practice. Biomodeling has been used in craniofacial reconstruction of traumatic injuries, congenital disorders, tumor removal, iatrogenic injuries (e.g., decompressive craniectomies), orthognathic surgery, and implantology. 3D printing has proven to improve and enable an optimization of preoperative planning, develop intraoperative guidance tools, reduce operative time, and significantly improve the biofunctional and the aesthetic outcome. This technology has also shown great potential in enriching the teaching of medical students and surgical residents. The aim of this review is to present the current status of 3D printing technology and its practical and innovative applications, specifically in craniomaxillofacial reconstructive surgery, illustrated with two clinical cases where the 3D printing technology was successfully used.

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