Nanodiamonds Give New Meaning to a Dazzling Smile

Dentist Articles

Most people's experiences with diamonds don't go further than the jewelry store. However, these gemstones have a variety of medical applications. Recently, researchers studying bone regeneration found nanodiamonds could be used to help stimulate bone growth as well as treat a variety of oral health diseases such as gingivitis. Here's more information about this development.

Using Nanodiamonds to Stimulate Bone Growth

For a dental implant to successfully integrate into the jaw, there must be sufficient bone material to hold it in place. One common side effect of tooth loss and gum disease, though, is bone deterioration. Many people affected by one or both of these conditions find they must undergo a bone regeneration procedure before they can get implants. While there are already a few options for stimulating jaw bone growth, a new technology involving nanodiamonds promises to make the process easier with fewer drawbacks.

Nanodiamonds are tiny, about four to five nanometers in size, and are created during the process of mining and refining regular diamonds. Scientists at the University of California: Los Angeles studied these miniscule rocks and found their surfaces delivered medication to the affected area slower and more steadily than other methods. This allowed the bone to regenerate for a longer period of time, increasing the odds of the patient developing sufficient material to successfully integrate the implant. There was also a reduced risk of burst release, a problem where medication is released into the treated area too quickly, which can lead to problems such as harmful interactions with other drugs if the patient is undergoing chemotherapy while being treated.

Another benefit of nanodiamonds is they can be placed into the treatment site using a syringe or an oral solution. Currently, bone regeneration treatment requires surgery to place the materials needed to stimulate bone growth. A non-invasive procedure reduces recovery time and lessens the risk of side effects developing, such as infection.

Other Options for Bone Augmentations

Unfortunately, the use nanodiamonds as a bone regeneration treatment is still in the experimental stage and isn't expected to be available for human use for another few years. However, as mentioned previously, there are treatments you can undergo now that can help you overcome an insufficient bone problem and get the dental implants needed to restore beauty and function to your mouth.

One popular treatment for this issue is bone grafting. In this procedure, the dentist grafts harvested or donor bone to the jaw. This stimulates the bone in the area to integrate the donor tissue and provide a base for the implant. The rate of success for this procedure is high. However, it requires multiple surgeries if you use bone material harvested from your hips or shins. You can opt for donor bone to avoid this, but it's important to understand that donor bone comes from cadavers. While it is safe to use this material, some people may object to it because of religious or personal beliefs.

Another option for increasing the amount of bone material available for a dental implant involve constructively breaking the jaw bone and forcing the body to remodel the area. One procedure—called a ridge expansion—involves sawing the jaw in half and placing graft material in the open space. This is done when the jaw is not wide enough to hold the implant.

The other expansion procedure is called distraction osteogenesis. The dentist cuts the jaw and places a device in the cut that forces the bone to remain open. Every day, the patient turns a screw to push the bone further apart, which forces the body to continue adding bone material to the area. This is used to increase depth in areas where the bone is too shallow for the implant.

For more information about these and other bone regeneration procedures, contact resources such as Samuel D Knight, DDS.


23 February 2017