UK-first as dog gets new jaw created on a 3d printer

Veterinary Nursing News

UK-first as dog gets new jaw created on a 3d printer

Eastcott Referrals in Swindon has become the first practice in the UK to use a jaw reconstruction technique in dogs that uses prosthetic titanium implants created on a 3D printer.

The practice's dentistry and oral surgery team, led by Peter Southerden, has now carried out its first two successful reconstructions using the technique, following oral tumour resection.

Use of patient-specific implants (PSI) for jaw reconstruction is a new technique, which provides an alternative to bone regenerative techniques. Both techniques can be used in cases which have had significant jaw resection or need reconstructive surgery after a trauma.

Peter said: "To my knowledge, using this technique to create patient-specific implants for rostral mandibular reconstruction following a bilateral rostral mandibulectomy has not been reported in dogs before.

"The reconstructive surgery involves taking pre and post-operative CT scans of the affected area and sending them to a specialist human medical PSI design company, which then uses 3D titanium printing technology to recreate the missing bone.

"In our first two cases, both dogs are doing really well. The feedback we’ve received from owners suggests their dogs have gained significant benefit from the jaw reconstruction process."

Peter is one of three dentistry and oral surgery clinicians at Eastcott alongside Andrew Perry and resident Ingrid Tundo, with a second resident due to join in 2019.

The team caters for dentistry cases including periodontology, endodontics, orthodontics and restorative dentistry, to complex cases including oral tumours, traumatic injuries and congenital issues such as cleft palates.

Peter added: "There aren’t many people with specialist qualifications in this field, possibly only six in the UK and we are the only team working with the backup of a multi-disciplinary referral hospital.

"Having a team of three, soon to be four, is unusual and means we have a big caseload and see a wide range of different cases. We are very keen on developing new techniques such the ones we have already introduced."

For more information about Eastcott Referrals, visit www.eastcottreferrals.co.uk.