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New protein discovery may benefit dental implant patients
Updated: 3/9/2011 5:00:21 PM

Bones with sufficient density are required for implant procedures to be effective Dentists will sometimes remove teeth that have sustained significant trauma or exhibit irreversible decay and use implanted prosthetic teeth in their place. However, many patients who have severe tooth decay also present a lack of bone growth along the mouth, which prevents the implants from being fastened securely.

Now, researchers at Georgia Health Sciences University have found that the use of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) in animals helped the creatures grow more substantial, natural bone.

Optimal growth with BMP was reached after four weeks, according to the study's findings.

The investigators said that this method of bone production may reduce the number of implant patients who require additional bone grafting surgeries.

"We found that BMP induced superior bone quality over that following bone grafts, which improves the chances for successful implants," lead researcher Ulf Wikesjö said.

Individuals who have missing teeth that cause them to experience difficulty speaking or eating can benefit from dental implants.

Unlike bridges and dentures, which need to be replaced every 15 years, the majority of implant procedures that have been done within the past 20 years continue to be effective, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxilliofacial Surgeons.

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