Countless people have replaced missing teeth with dental implants, like those available at David Rice DDS in Elgin.
Unlike a dental bridge, an implant consists of a titanium post inserted directly into the jaw. The post and bone fuse to create a strong base for the natural-looking prosthetic tooth and crown that attaches to the post.
Dental implants are usually the ideal restoration for people who want to replace a missing tooth. There is a problem, however, if the jaw bone is too thin at the implant location.
Bone grafting can augment the bone at the implant site and provide the bone density necessary for a successful implant. This is usually effective, but it does require time for the new bone to be produced. A new discovery may provide a quicker solution for regenerating bone.
Researchers at the Georgia Health Sciences University College of Dental Medicine have identified a protein that quickly stimulates the production of new bone. The research team implanted bone morphogenetic protein in test subjects and discovered that more new bone formed within four weeks than with conventional bone grafting.
This protein will necessitate extensive testing before it is available for dental implant patients.