Assessment of digital technologies in the design of a magnetic retained auricular prosthesis
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Previous research into the application of digital technologies in maxillofacial prosthetics has focussed on the creation of overall shape, but very little research had explored the incorporation of implant retention mechanisms. Given that implant retention is considered as state of the art, the author identified the need to evaluate and develop the capability of digital technologies to design and manufacture implant retained prostheses. Furthermore, past research had not sought in-depth analysis of digital techniques compared to conventional methods. This research evaluated the results of a case study, and further discussed and attempted to quantify the quality, economic and clinical impact of the techniques. A suitable auricular prosthesis case was identified by the Maxillofacial Unit at Morriston Hospital, Swansea and suitable technologies selected by the author. Magnets that would retain the prosthesis were placed on to a replica of the patient’s defect site and optical scanning technologies were used to digitise this and the contra-lateral (opposite) ear. Combinations of new and established techniques were used to generate a prosthesis pattern that incorporated the magnets. Conventional production methods were then used to complete the final prosthesis, which was provided to the patient. This research built on a previous implant retained case study (Eggbeer output 2) whilst utilising different techniques and addressing magnetic retention. Conclusions on future research directions were made and these informed subsequent research in this field. To maximise impact in the profession this research was published in a journal specifically aimed at practicing prosthetists who would be likely to apply the techniques reported. The research was conducted by Eggbeer, the clinical aspects were conducted by Evans and Bibb contributed design and rapid prototyping expertise.
The Journal of Maxillofacial Prosthetics & Technology
Eggbeer, D., Bibb, R. & Evans, P. (2006) 'Assessment of digital technologies in the design of a magnetic retained auricular prosthesis', The Journal of Maxillofacial Prosthetics & Technology 9, pp.1-4
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