Geekend: Pardon Me, Is That A Nose On Your Arm? - InformationWeek

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Geekend: Pardon Me, Is That A Nose On Your Arm?
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Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
1/3/2015 | 3:35:00 PM
Absolutely Amazing!
I was about to make a joke about cloning my teeth so I don't have to come up with megabucks for dental implants when I read about the potential here for helping people who have been the victims of heretofore hopeless spinal injury. This is really amazingly great news.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
1/3/2015 | 9:44:49 PM
Re: Absolutely Amazing!
I think the biggest area of potential is organ transplant.  If scientist scan figure how to 3D print an organ for a person that their body won't reject, they would have hit the goldmine.  Imagine people who have lost their sight, they could print new cells that could give them their sight back.  The sky is the limit here.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
1/4/2015 | 6:38:15 AM
Re: Absolutely Amazing!
Gary, 

You can already have 3D printed teeth for implants; they are faster to make and cheaper than traditional ones. I know some dentists are doing this in a dental lab in Germany. 

-Susan 
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
1/4/2015 | 11:51:03 AM
Re: Absolutely Amazing!
Interesting. I did some follow-up, but it seems that even after the teeth are printed, there is still the very expensive process of securing them to the jaw. But just imagine - "printing" teeth!
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
1/4/2015 | 11:59:53 AM
Re: Absolutely Amazing!
Gary, 

The 3D printed tooth goes screwed to a metal screw that goes into the bone; this is done by a micro-surgery. A woman in the Netherlands got a 3D printed new jaw some years ago. It was the first of its kind. 

-Susan
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
1/4/2015 | 5:33:03 PM
Re: Absolutely Amazing!
For the ultimate low cost dental care, I guess, the world has to wait for Nano-bots that live with-in the body 24/7, filling any cavities that develop in the teeth and remove wisdom teeth automatically. But even now, I think it is great that an individual can custom mold a fitting for a chipped tooth.  
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
1/4/2015 | 5:58:12 PM
Re: Absolutely Amazing!
Susan, it seems that 3D printers are progressing at a very fast pace. I was of the view that 3D printers had a limited range of material with which they could function and did not know that biocompatible materials existed that could be used in a 3D printer.

Another area of limitations that I had in mind was of the scale of the object, but since 3d printers are printing tooth sized objects then, it means that at the small scale these printers are progressing as well.

Combine stem cell research with 3D printers and maybe, the medical tourism industry will be the first to be hit by this new technology. Interesting times!
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
1/4/2015 | 8:45:53 PM
Re: Absolutely Amazing!
I think there is huge pontential for 3D printing. It may be a ways off, because it seems like the innovation is going to come from larger companies rather than smaller ones because there is a certain degree of consoidation and cost in that arena. 

But the opportunities are going to be really great in the 3D printing space nonetheless. 
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
1/4/2015 | 9:59:45 PM
Re: Absolutely Amazing!
As the article intimated, the issue that innovators will bump up against is regulation. How close --- or better yet, how far away --- is any FDA approval of 3D-printed bio-material? And once it's approved, it will need to be heavily regulated, right? Otherwise, you'll have people getting nose transplants from butchers on every street corner.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
1/5/2015 | 9:26:41 AM
Re: Absolutely Amazing!
@Susan- From what I hear (though I can't say anything about the German lab specifically) is that 3-D printed teeth are still not as good as other types of implants. That said, I'm sure it won't be long until they are. There's a lot of experimentation that goes into getting the engineering just right. 
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