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Composite 3D printing of biomimetic human teeth

Cresswell-Boyes, A. J., Davis, G. R., Krishnamoorthy, M. , Mills, D. & Barber, A. H. ORCID: 0000-0003-3334-0266 (2022). Composite 3D printing of biomimetic human teeth. Scientific Reports, 12(1), article number 7830. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-11658-y


Human teeth are mechanically robust through a complex structural composite organisation of materials and morphology. Efforts to replicate mechanical function in artificial teeth (typodont teeth), such as in dental training applications, attempt to replicate the structure and morphology of real teeth but lack tactile similarities during mechanical cutting of the teeth. In this study, biomimetic typodont teeth, with morphology derived from X-ray microtomography scans of extracted teeth, were 3D printed using an approach to develop novel composites. These composites with a range of glass, hydroxyapatite and porcelain reinforcements within a methacrylate-based photopolymer resin were compared to six commercial artificial typodont teeth. Mechanical performance of the extracted human teeth and 3D printed typodont teeth were evaluated using a haptic approach of measuring applied cutting forces. Results indicate 3D printed typodont teeth replicating enamel and dentine can be mechanically comparable to extracted human teeth despite the material compositions differing from the materials found in human teeth. A multiple parameter variable of material elastic modulus and hardness is shown to describe the haptic response when cutting through both human and biomimetic, highlighting a critical dependence between the ratio of material mechanical properties and not absolute material properties in determining tooth mechanical performance under the action of cutting forces.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Tis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. Te images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
R Medicine > RK Dentistry
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
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Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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