Although modern medical treatment can cure patients with head and neck cancer, the muscle fibrosis caused by the treatments can lead to a progressive inability to open their mouths, forming trismus. Jaw-opening exercises have been proven to effectively optimize the condition. However, currently available devices to aid jaw opening are too difficult to use and can easily damage teeth with low adherence and compliance. Therefore, this design employs EVA 3D printing and the existing method that patients must use: a fluoride tray (formed by EVA molding, capable of adding high-fluoride medicament soft dental tray), enabling patients to perform rehabilitation exercises while cleaning their teeth. Because radiotherapy immediately destroys the salivary glands, head and neck cancer patients who have completed the treatment are most perceptibly affected by dry mouth syndrome and are willing to purchase oral care tools. However, the less noticeable fibrosis is the actual culprit, significantly affecting the quality of life in the future. Patients are willing to use cleaning tools daily, but they are unaware of the importance of rehabilitation exercises and equipment. Therefore, the design purpose of this project is to encourage patients to perform rehabilitation exercises through cleaning tools.
Through the combination of traditional dental vacuum forming and 3D printing, this design allows patients to receive more comprehensive care. This includes a mandibular protrusion and retrusion, which previously could only have elevation and depression. Patients can bite more securely on the tray through grooves and customized forming techniques. There's no need to spend extra time on rehabilitation. More importantly, the new technology allows the tray to retain strength even in a soft material. Through these features, patients have more complete protection and are more willing to work together with doctors to complete the treatment.