Usability Of Three-dimensional Printing in Maxillofacial Surgery: A Narrative Review

Ahmad Assari1, *
1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Oral Diagnostic Sciences, Riyadh Elm University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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© 2023 Ahmad Assari

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address Correspondence to this author at the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Oral Diagnostic Sciences, Riyadh Elm University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; E-mail:



The three-dimensional (3D) printing method is a modern approach in which different custom designs are fabricated with high complexity according to the patient’s need. This narrative review aimed to highlight the materials used in 3D printers for medical use, especially in the field of oral and maxillofacial surgery.


PubMed, Web of Sciences, and Google Scholar were searched for the relevant studies, and after meeting the inclusion criteria, articles were studied, and focused points were highlighted.


s: Synthetic and natural materials used in 3D printing include hydroxyapatite, tricalcium phosphate, bicalcium phosphate, apatite–wollastonite glass ceramics, stem cells, and collagen. The most frequent clinical applications include dental implants, maxillofacial trauma, facial cosmetics, orthognathic surgery, maxillofacial oncology, and maxillofacial reconstruction. Anatomical models and surgical instructions were the most often printed objects. The key benefits were increased surgical precision and a shorter operating time. The cost of the items, the length of the manufacturing process when printed by the industry, and legal concerns were the main drawbacks.


The 3D models are beneficial for surgeons as they can save time and even human life. In the future, additional research should be done on the modeling, efficacy, and safety of natural materials, and systematic reviews and meta-analyses should be conducted for a better understanding.

Keywords: Three dimensional, 3DP, Cranio-maxillofacial surgery, Additive manufacturing, Maxillofacial surgery, Oral surgery.