3D printed surgical implants on the rise

Made-to-order medical devices for patients is becoming an established reality in Victoria, where the 100th TMJ surgery using a 3D printed part is taking place at Epworth Freemasons.

TMJ surgery replaces diseased or arthritic jaw joints with a prosthesis to relieve the pain patients experience while improving patients’ mandibular movements.

TMJ parts are designed and created in Australia by Melbourne-based OMX Solutions and Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon Dr George Dimitroulis.

Dr Dimitroulis said today that the innovative technology had also manufactured 3D printed devices for patients with jaw damage from cancer or traumatic accident, as well as genetic jaw disorders.

“All of our patients had long term conditions or injury that resulted in loss of teeth and subsequent erosion of the jawbone. We have seen TMJ technology improve patients’ quality of life with the 3D bespoke implants replace arthritic or diseased TMJs in their jaws.

“These high tech 3D implants, which are made from titanium, support full dental rehabilitation in patients who have missing teeth and insufficient jaw bone to support conventional dentures and dental implants”.

Dr Dimitroulis said the oral maxillofacial surgical field is notoriously challenging to undertake reconstructive and restorative surgical procedures, due to the delicate and fine bone structures – often necessitating bone grafting to provide sufficient stock for implants. The 3D implants created by OMX-Solutions eliminates the need for donor bone and associated and multi-stage procedures.

Innovation and OMX-Solutions

The TMJ implant is the brainchild of Dr George Dimitroulis who as the company’s founder and Medical Director has over 20 years’ experience as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and is well respected with 52 peer reviewed academic publications. He operates regularly at the Epworth Hospital Group and St Vincent’s Public with many patients being referred from interstate for the procedure.

Dr Dimitroulis founded the small Melbourne start-up company, OMX Solutions, which makes the 3D jaw devices. He adds that his ideas for 3D devices would have gone overseas had it not been for the support of Epworth Freemasons and financial assistance from the federal government, for which he is grateful.

“There are approximately 60-70 procedures for joint replacement performed in Australia a year and to have 100 of the local OMX-Solutions jaw replacements successfully implanted is a significant milestone for us,” Dr Dimitroulis added.

Read Richard’s story and his one year review.

Read Susie’s story.

Photo: The titanium TMJ jaw part used to repair a patient’s missing joint.