Journal of Head & Neck Physicians and Surgeons (Jan 2021)

Rapid prototyping technology for silicone auricular prosthesis fabrication: A pilot study

  • V Manju,
  • Anna Serene Babu,
  • V N Krishnapriya,
  • J Chandrashekar

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 9, no. 1
pp. 35 – 40


Read online

Context: Three-dimensional printing technologies have been used recently for patients with maxillofacial deformities who seek esthetic prosthesis. The aim of the present study was to assess the accuracy, surface texture, marginal adaptation, patient satisfaction, and ease of fabrication of silicone auricular prostheses fabricated by the rapid prototyping technology (RPT) when compared to the conventional method (CM). Materials and Methods: A pilot study was conducted on five patients who had partial auriculectomy defects. Ear prostheses fabricated by CM and RPT were compared. RPT include the fabrication of prostheses by the duplication of polymer model fabrication or by injecting silicone to mold obtained by Vacuum casting method (VCM). The prostheses were evaluated by 15 randomly allotted trained independent observers based on the Likert Scale. The patients performed a self-rating assessment followed by a report from the clinician and technician. Statistical Analysis: The scores for each of the dimension were analyzed using the ANOVA. The cost, time, and quantity of silicone material were expressed in means for three fabrication methods. Results: Prostheses fabricated by RPT yielded superior scores in terms of accuracy, texture, and marginal fit; the vacuum casted prostheses being more precise. The patient perspective was in favor of RPT though not significant statistically. Time for fabrication and number of patient visits were less for rapid prototyping methods than CM. Conclusion: The present study demonstrated the potential benefits of digital method in the fabrication of auricular prosthesis using RPT in the field of maxillofacial rehabilitation.