A man who lost part of his face in a cycling collision has had his jaw rebuilt with the help of a 3D printer.
George Boden, from High Easter, near Chelmsford, Essex, was riding his motorcycle in 2011 when he crashed face-first.
Surgeons took bone from his shoulder and a titanium plate to make a new jaw, but he was left with no bottom teeth and a mouth the size of a walnut.
But 3D printed models were used to plan more surgery to refine his jaw and make new teeth.
Mr Boden told: “I was out for a training spin, looked at my watch and the next minute I’d slammed into a piece of machinery around the corner.
“It’s not a good notion to hit something with your chin at 30 mph[ 48 kmph ], which is exactly what I did. It ripped the whole of my jaw off.”
Doctors encompassed his rebuilt jaw with a skin flap, but then decided to input his CT scan into a 3D printer to render a more finely-detailed model of his jaw.
His surgeon Iain Hutchison told: “We use it to scheme the operation. We use it to design exactly what we are going to take.”
The model was also used to build bespoke teeth implants to perfectly accommodate his new jaw, while another device was also printed to stretch his mouth.
Mr Boden said the technology dedicated him hope when he most needed it.
“I’ve determined two things, ” he said. “First of all if you know you are going to get a answer you are able to keep going and secondly, red wine helps enormously.”
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