Team in Australia uses 3D printed prosthetic jaw to help cancer survivor

In an Australian first reconstruction, a cancer survivor has been fitted with a 3D-printed jaw and teeth after her face was disfigured when doctors removed a cancer growth. (Reuters/Network Nine/CBS Newspath)

MELBOURNE, Australia (Reuters/Network Nine/CBS Newspath/WKRC) - In an Australian first reconstruction, a cancer survivor has been fitted with a 3D-printed jaw and teeth after her face was disfigured when doctors removed a cancer growth.

With 80-percent of her upper jaw missing, Anelia Myburgh undertook the five hour surgery and subsequent dental appointments that saw the printed jaw featuring a titanium frame implanted into her face.

"They removed the majority of the upper jaw so I only have the two back teeth on each side left," she said. "They removed a portion of the lip and like some of the under structure of the nose area."

The frame anchors the bone grafts which allow the teeth to be implanted.

"That fact that we can 3D-print a frame where we can actually anchor some teeth for her would give her back her quality of life," said Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon Dr. George Dimitroulis.

With the surgery a success, Myburgh said she is looking forward to eating a burger.

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