Bones from calves good for fastening tooth implants

On Friday, November 8, Mats Hallman, Department of Odontology, Jaw Surgery, Umeå University in Sweden, will defend a thesis that presents favorable results from implanting bone powder from calves to anchor tooth implants in humans.

Tooth implants have long been a well-tested method to create permanent teeth in toothless sections of the jaw. In certain cases, however, patients have no bone in which to secure the titanium screws. In these cases it is necessary to rebuild the bone prior to the implant operation. This bone has usually been taken from the patients’ own hip or jaw, which has required further surgery and caused problems where the bone was taken from. Since many of these patients are elderly, complications have often arisen after the operation. This surgery also entails greater costs.

The dissertation scientifically tests whether it is possible to implant bone replacement material, bone powder from calves, instead of using the patients’ own bones. The studies indicate that the methods functions at the cellular level, histologically, and in practice, clinically. When the bone material is packed against the patient’s remaining bone, the bone cells are “fooled” into forming new human bone. The thesis also shows that the supplemental bone resists deterioration (resorption) and functions as an excellent support for tooth implants.

In a comparative study using three types of implants (bone from the jaw, bone from the jaw combined with bone from calves, and bone only from calves), no differences were noted regarding the development of new bone and the final results from the implant, apart from the fact that the alternative using only calf bone required three months longer to heal.

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