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Custom-Made Temporomandibular Joint Replacement Design Process

Rubens Maciel Filho

Abstract


Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a joint of small dimensions composed by two
components: condyle, the extremity of mandibular bone, and fossa, in the cranial
bone. TMJ is one of the most used human joints, because it is used to talk, eat, and
breathe, for example. For this reason, TMJ disorder can significantly impair patient's
quality of life. So that, it becomes necessary to replace the natural joint with an
alloplastic prosthetic device, composed of medical grade metal alloys. TMJ
prosthesis aims to restore the correct behaviour of TMJ joint and consequently
improve patient's quality of life. In the last century, the advances in computational
modeling and additive manufacturing technologies have led to the emergence of
custom-made, or patient-fitted, prosthesis. Custom-made prosthesis are made
based on patient anatomy to ensure correct fitting and so reducing surgery time.
This study aims to show and explain the process steps to design a TMJ custom-
made prosthesis. Starting from tomographic data images TMJ bone structures is
separated from others. Then, computer aided design (CAD) model of TMJ
prosthesis is created based on patient's anatomy, with the Materialise and
Solidworks softwares. So finite elements analysis (FEA) with Ansys Workbench
software is performed to simulate bite load and evaluate TMJ mechanical behaviour.
Finally, TMJ prosthesis model is fabricated with additive manufacture, via DMLS
technology.


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