International Journal of Prosthodontics and Restorative Dentistry

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VOLUME 10 , ISSUE 4 ( October-December, 2020 ) > List of Articles


Rapid Prototyping: A Key Tool for Digital Craniofacial Reconstruction

Tanuj Mendiratta, Harmanpreet Atwal, M Viswambaran, Anup Gopi

Citation Information : Mendiratta T, Atwal H, Viswambaran M, Gopi A. Rapid Prototyping: A Key Tool for Digital Craniofacial Reconstruction. Int J Prosthodont Restor Dent 2020; 10 (4):184-188.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10019-1287

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-12-2020

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2020; The Author(s).


Cranioplasty is performed following a traumatic injury, infection, tumor, or after a previous brain surgery for surgical repair of a defect or deformity. Reconstruction of such large cranial defects with complex geometric shapes (frontal or involving supraorbital ridges) along with soft tissue loss is challenging to reconstruct. Fabrication of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) cranial implants by conventional methods of moulage and mold formation may be difficult when the patient has neuromuscular incoordination and when margins of the defect cannot be accurately detected. Three-dimensional anatomic models built by rapid prototyping (RP) can serve as templates for the fabrication of customized cranial prostheses for such cranial defects with high accuracy and precision. This paper aims to present and compare two different techniques of craniofacial reconstruction to restore form and function for large complex cranial defects. In the first case, the cranial implant was fabricated using the conventional method whereas in the second case RP was used to fabricate the prosthesis, which proved to be an accurate, time-efficient, convenient, and easy-to-use alternative with great adaptability to cranial vault defects. The RP technology nowadays plays a pivotal role in digital rehabilitation of large complex craniomaxillofacial defects especially when the patients have compromised neuromuscular coordination, which impedes the clinical step of impression making as the patient cannot maintain an upright posture of the head.

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