Researchers have found that a special protein that helps building bone is actually more effective than bone grafting in dental implants procedures.
When a dental implant procedure is performed, there must be enough healthy bone existent in the jaw so that the titanium screws can fuse well with the bone.
When the bone is too thin or too weak, the dental implants cannot be inserted successfully. Currently, in cases when there is not enough bone available, dentists perform bone grafting.
However, according to Dr. Ulf M.E. Wikesjo who is an Interim Associate Dean for Research and Enterprise at the College of Dental Medicine (Georgia Health Sciences University), bone grafting can be quite problematic and risky mainly because the procedure involves several surgeries in order to harvest healthy bone from parts of the jaw.
Wikesjo and his team of specialists have found that if a special morphogenetic protein is implanted into the sinus, there will be a greater amount of healthy bone developed compared to the use of bone grafting.
Even more so, the quality of the bone produced with the help of this protein is of much higher quality. The research pertaining to the implantation of the protein in the sinus area (animal study) has been performed at the GHSU Laboratory for Applied Periodontal & Craniofacial Regeneration.
Right before the dental implants became available, lost teeth have been replaced by dentures and bridges. However, both these procedures are known to lead to further bone loss throughout time.
The dental implants represent a much healthier option, they are more durable, they look and feel natural, and they are generally made to last a lifetime.
Statistics from the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons show that approximately 69% of adults between the ages of 35 and 44 lost at least one tooth due to complications such as tooth decay, accidental avulsions or disease (such as gum disease).
Moreover, around 26% of the adults lost all their teeth by the time they turned 74 years old.
The results of the new protein implantation study have been presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Osseointegration in Washington.