The Open Dentistry Journal

ISSN: 1874-2106 ― Volume 13, 2019

Rapid Tooling Method for Soft Customized Removable Oral Appliances

Mika Salmi 1, *, Jukka Tuomi 1, Rauno Sirkkanen 1, Tuula Ingman 2, Antti Mäkitie 1, 3
1 Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, BIT Research Centre, Aalto University, School of Science, Espoo, Finland
2 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, Helsinki University Central Hospital and University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
3 Department of Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Helsinki University Central Hospital and University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland


Traditionally oral appliances i.e. removable orthodontic appliances, bite splints and snoring / sleep apnea appliances are made with alginate impressions and wax registrations. Our aim was to describe the process of manufacturing customized oral appliances with a new technique i.e. rapid tooling method. The appliance should ideally be custom made to match the teeth. An orthodontic patient, scheduled for conventional orthodontic treatment, served as a study subject. After a precise clinical and radiographic examination, the approach was to digitize the patient’s dental arches and then to correct them virtually by computer. Additive manufacturing was then used to fabricate a mould for a soft customized appliance. The mould was manufactured using stereolithography from Somos ProtoGen O-XT 18420 material. Casting material for the mould to obtain the final appliance was silicone. As a result we managed to create a customized soft orthodontic appliance. Also, the accuracy of the method was found to be adequate. Two versions of the described device were manufactured: one with small and one with moderate orthodontic force. The study person also gave information on the subjective patient adaptation aspects of the oral appliance.

Keywords: Additive manufacturing, computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), rapid prototyping, oral appliance, orthodontics.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2012
Volume: 6
First Page: 85
Last Page: 89
Publisher Id: TODENTJ-6-85
DOI: 10.2174/1874210601206010085

Article History:

Received Date: 22/2/2012
Revision Received Date: 12/4/2012
Acceptance Date: 12/4/2012
Electronic publication date: 9/5/2012
Collection year: 2012

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© Salmi et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Aalto University, School of Science, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, BIT Research Centre P.O. Box 15500 FI-00076 Aalto, Finland; Mobile +358 50 512 2746; Fax +358 9 470 23665; E-mail:


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