MHRA no: CA007329

Prosthetic African Hornbill Beak

African Hornbill, diseased beak prior to excision
The patient before removal of damaged tissue
Completed prosthetic beak prior to heat treatment
Cast sections welded together, prior to heat treatment
Prosthetic African Hornbill beak sections before welding
The castings before trimming
African Hornbill after fitting of prosthetic beak
The completed prosthetic after fitting

In the summer of 2004, we were asked to produce a prosthetic beak for one of London Zoo's African Hornbills. The bird's upper bill had been fractured in an accident, and the zoo required a durable and realistic replacement.

The beak was cast in cobalt chromium alloy, which was heat treated so as to blend in more closely with the bird's natural colouring. This presented us with the greatest problem due to its size (50cm) and weight (46g), but by casting in two sections and welding them together we produced the result illustrated in these photos.

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Double hinged sectional denture

Double hinge sectional denture framework, open

This case required a small unilateral denture to replace the patient's upper right 5 and 6. It was decided to use a two-part or sectional technique to ensure positive retention. There are numerous types of two-part denture designs, but this one may be unique to Creative Chrome, having been devised by Steve to fully engage all of the available undercuts when locked together with a P.W bolt (figs 1 & 2).

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