Rapid Tooling Method for Soft Customized Removable Oral Appliances

The Open Dentistry Journal 9 May 2012 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874210601206010085


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.
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