Researchers in Norway have developed a new bone graft device that can be used to make bone grafts for both small and large bone defects. This new bone graft scaffolding is as strong and light as bone, meaning that it can be used to repair large areas of defects, and it’s made of very safe materials, which are already commonly used in foods.
Strong as Bone
Most scaffolding materials currently used for bone grafts are soft, spongelike materials. This is good because the porosity allows new bone material to grow up in and around the scaffolding. However, it does have limitations, because it can’t be used in large areas where a lot of bone material has been removed, such as people who have had bone removed due to oral cancer.
It also isn’t as good for helping rebuild bone lost to gum disease around teeth, where the force chewing exerts on loose teeth can impair the growth of the new bone–or the teeth might be lost before the new bone regrows.
This new scaffolding, called NuBone, is as strong as bone and can be used in areas with moderate structural demands–such as the jawbone, but not, perhaps, the leg bone. It can provide support in these areas, and buttress teeth against the forces of chewing to protect them while the body is regrowing bone. Yet, researchers say, the scaffolding is still porous enough to allow new bone to regrow.
The scaffolding is also said to be compatible with the use of stem cells to speed recovery.
Made of Food Additives
Another benefit of the new bone graft material is that it is made of material that is already widely produced and used in medications and food products. The primary ingredient is a titanium dioxide powder, which has undergone numerous safety tests. Perhaps even more importantly, it’s the material that the surface of titanium dental implants naturally oxidizes to. With the high success rate of dental implants, we don’t have any reason to doubt the effectiveness of this material in bone graft scaffolding.
These exciting developments give us hope that the future will have even more options for reconstructive dentistry, and as they become available, we will offer them. If you would like to learn more about how the newest advances in dentistry can help you, please call (949) 551-5902 for an appointment with an Orange County reconstructive dentist at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.