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Volume 19 , Issue 3
May/June 2006

Pages 258263

Toward Identifying Specification Requirements for Digital Bone-Anchored Prosthesis Design Incorporating Substructure Fabrication: A Pilot Study

Dominic Eggbeer, BSc (Hons)a/Richard Bibb, PhDb/Peter Evans, MIMPT

PMID: 16752622

Purpose: This paper is the first in a series that aims to identify the specification requirements for advanced digital technologies that may be used to design and fabricate complex, soft tissue facial prostheses. Materials and Methods: Following a review of previously reported techniques, appropriate and currently available technologies were selected and applied in a pilot study. This study uses a range of optical surface scanning, computerized tomography, computer-aided design, and rapid prototyping technologies to capture, design, and fabricate a bone-anchored auricular prosthesis, including the retentive components. The techniques are assessed in terms of their effectiveness, and the results are used to identify future research and specification requirements to direct developments. Results: The case study identifies that while digital technologies may be used to design implant-retained facial prostheses, many limitations need to be addressed to make the techniques clinically viable. It also identifies the need to develop a more robust specification that covers areas such as resolution, accuracy, materials, and design, against which potential technologies may be assessed. Conclusion: There is a need to develop a specification against which potential technologies may be assessed for their suitability in soft tissue facial prosthetics. The specification will be developed using further experimental research studies. Int J Prosthodont 2006;19:258263.

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