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CBCT data could help create patient-specific scaffolds for periodontal tissue regeneration

An innovative study has pioneered two methods of creating patient-specific 3D-printed bone grafts using CBCT scans. (Image: Veles Studio/Shutterstock)
Dental Tribune International

Dental Tribune International

Thu. 24. August 2023


ATHENS, Greece: Leveraging advancements in 3D printing, researchers in Greece have outlined a methodology for designing patient-specific 3D scaffolds for periodontal tissue regeneration using CBCT data. Early results suggest that using this CBCT data to create 3D models of the hard tissue around periodontal defects holds promise for individualised periodontal treatments. The ultimate goal is to produce bioabsorbable 3D-printed scaffolds that double as sustained-release drug carriers, targeting periodontitis.

Periodontitis leads to osseous defects compromising tooth support. Traditional methods like grafting utilise donor bone tissue as scaffolds for new bone formation. However, ensuring a perfect fit to prevent soft-tissue proliferation remains a challenge. The emergence of CBCT-based 3D modelling offers a promising solution. This innovative approach aims to design patient-specific scaffolds, setting the stage for personalised periodontitis treatment and broader clinical applications.

The process involves two key scaffold design methods: one for periodontal defect customised block grafts and another for extraction socket preservation customised grafts. The significance of the methods lies in the personalisation of treatment using CBCT data to model the teeth and alveolar bone in regions with periodontal defects.

Both models of the scaffolds and models of the hard tissue around the periodontal damage were 3D-printed using a fused deposition modelling 3D printer. Such advancements lay the foundation for the 3D printing of bioabsorbable scaffolds which are tailored for periodontitis treatment and which can also potentially act as drug delivery systems.

The research’s novelty resides in its emphasis on detailing the scaffold design process and its capability of capturing intricate osseous defects and thereby producing highly accurate scaffolds. This research paves the way for future exploration and clinical applications, including improved image segmentation algorithms, comparisons of 3D-printing techniques, utilisation of biodegradable materials for drug delivery and the clinical testing of 3D-printed grafts in patients. However, a significant limitation is the study’s inability to compare the accuracy of the CBCT models with real patient scenarios, underscoring the need for future collaborations with clinical researchers. As biotechnological advancements continue, it is anticipated that related ethical and regulatory challenges will be addressed.

The study, titled “CBCT-based design of patient-specific 3D bone grafts for periodontal regeneration”, was published online on 30 July 2023 in Journal of Clinical Medicine.

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