Looking for a solution to the fungal infections that often accompany denture use, researchers from the University at Buffalo have developed 3D-printed dentures containing microscopic Amphotericin B-releasing capsules capable of fighting such infections.
“The antifungal application could prove invaluable among those highly susceptible to infection, such as the elderly, hospitalized or disabled patients,” said Praveen Arany, DDS, PhD, a study author and an assistant professor in the Department of Oral Biology in the UB School of Dental Medicine.
After many tests of the dentures’ flexural strength and medication release, the team settled on a model that “has effectively repurposed routine prosthetic material, methyl methacrylate, for 3D printing.”
“In followup work, we have been able to address the mechanical strength issue and can now fabricate clinically acceptable prosthesis with properties comparable to the routinely manufactured prosthesis,” Arany added. “Ongoing work is adding significant novel functionalities to enable ‘smart’ — sense and respond — attributes.”
Additionally, being able to 3-D print custom dentures means that they can be ready in hours versus the days and weeks it takes to customize dentures via traditional methods. Likewise, the team also imagines that the process could one day be used for artificial joints and to 3D print casts, splints, stents and other prostheses.