Rapid Tooling Method for Soft Customized Removable Oral Appliances

Mika Salmi 1, *, Jukka Tuomi 1, Rauno Sirkkanen 1, Tuula Ingman 2, Antti Mäkitie 1, 3
1 Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, BIT Research Centre, Aalto University, School of Science, Espoo, Finland
2 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, Helsinki University Central Hospital and University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
3 Department of Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Helsinki University Central Hospital and University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

Article Metrics

CrossRef Citations:
Total Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 394
Abstract HTML Views: 129
PDF Downloads: 79
Total Views/Downloads: 602
Unique Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 208
Abstract HTML Views: 89
PDF Downloads: 58
Total Views/Downloads: 355

Creative Commons License
© Salmi et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Aalto University, School of Science, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, BIT Research Centre P.O. Box 15500 FI-00076 Aalto, Finland; Mobile +358 50 512 2746; Fax +358 9 470 23665; E-mail:


Traditionally oral appliances i.e. removable orthodontic appliances, bite splints and snoring / sleep apnea appliances are made with alginate impressions and wax registrations. Our aim was to describe the process of manufacturing customized oral appliances with a new technique i.e. rapid tooling method. The appliance should ideally be custom made to match the teeth. An orthodontic patient, scheduled for conventional orthodontic treatment, served as a study subject. After a precise clinical and radiographic examination, the approach was to digitize the patient’s dental arches and then to correct them virtually by computer. Additive manufacturing was then used to fabricate a mould for a soft customized appliance. The mould was manufactured using stereolithography from Somos ProtoGen O-XT 18420 material. Casting material for the mould to obtain the final appliance was silicone. As a result we managed to create a customized soft orthodontic appliance. Also, the accuracy of the method was found to be adequate. Two versions of the described device were manufactured: one with small and one with moderate orthodontic force. The study person also gave information on the subjective patient adaptation aspects of the oral appliance.

Keywords: Additive manufacturing, computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), rapid prototyping, oral appliance, orthodontics.