Fabrication of Nasoalveolar Molding Devices for the Treatment of Cleft Lip and Palate, Using Stereolithography Additive Manufacturing Processes and Computer-Aided Design Manipulation Software

Mairaj K. Ahmed, Sofia Ahsanuddin, Jean Marc Retrouvey, Krishna Sai Koka, Haider Qureshi, Anthony H. Bui, Peter J. Taub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Nasoalveolar molding (NAM) is a presurgical orthopedic treatment modality that attempts to reorient misaligned bony and soft tissue structures in patients with clefting of the lip and palate. The NAM devices are implemented prior to surgical intervention in order to minimize the gap across the cleft and thereby reduce tension across the eventual repair. Currently, NAM devices are fabricated in a laboratory and then refined chairside by the provider. The present article describes the potential of three-dimensional (3D) printing and computer-aided design (CAD) software for the fabrication of NAM devices. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A workflow was developed to demonstrate the use of 3D printing and CAD software to design NAM devices. This workflow encompasses scanning an impression into CAD software, performing a series of manipulations, and then printing the digital model. RESULTS: To test the workflow, a cleft palate plaster model was scanned into CAD software. Through a series of linear and angular freeform manipulations of the body, the model was modified to display a cleft with a reduced alveolar gap. Sequential molding devices were produced which would gradually apply pressure to targeted areas of hard and soft tissue until the cleft is minimized. The resulting devices are printed using a stereolithography printer. CONCLUSIONS: The use of 3D printing and CAD software shows promise in improving the accuracy, speed, and cost-effectiveness of designing NAM devices. The accuracy and flexibility from digitally visualizing the manipulations made to an appliance before its creation can result in a more personalized device for the patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2604-2608
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Volume30
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2019

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