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News / April 9, 2008

Synthetic bone material ‘could help dental implants’

by Guy Hiscott

Coating dental implants with a synthetic bone material before implanting helps them settle in the mouth more successfully than traditional titanium, according to new research.

J.D. Santos, of the Biomedical Engineering Institute in Portugal, found that although titanium’s biological inertness means it will not trigger an adverse reaction from the immune system, it also means the metal does not initiate new bone and blood vessel growth around the implant.

His team experimented with coating titanium implants with Bonelike, a synthetic material comprised of hydroxyapatite reinforced with tiny glass particles.

They coated 27 titanium implants with the bone-like substance in the mouths of seven patients, ahead of the attachment of an artificial tooth.

X-rays before and after implant at three- and six-months allowed the team to assess how well the implants had grown in. They also showed new bone growth around the implants and no bone loss in surrounding regions of the jaws.

The researchers found that ‘the Bonelike-coated dental implants proved to be highly bioactive with extensive new bone formation and attachment’.

A recent study from scientists at the State University of New York suggested that research into the formation of tooth enamel could help prevent decay and develop dental care materials.