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People who ignore their dental health may find themselves in need of dental implants. Often, a person who receives these implants may find that they are unable to chew food for up to six months, because they have to wait for the new teeth to adhere to the bone. Research published in the British Medical Journal states that scientists have found a new way to speed up this process, potentially allowing patients to resume their normal eating patterns more quickly.
Currently, it can take four to six months before the bone surrounding the titanium screw that the implant is made out of heals. Researchers in Sweden created a drug coating that allows the screw to adhere to the bone faster.
The drug coating has been tested on humans, and the results have been promising.
"It is the first time ever anyone has succeeded in reinforcing the bone around an implant with localized medication," said Per Aspenberg, professor of orthopedics, who devised the method.
Of course, maintaining good oral health by brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist regularly could eliminate the need for dental implants in the first place. Implants can be expensive and uncomfortable in the early stages, so it's best for a person to take care of their natural teeth.
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