Diamonds Potentially A Dental Implant’s Best Friend

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Researchers in the US have found that diamonds on a small scale could be a vital tool in promoting bone growth and long lasting dental implants.

The diamonds in question are much, much smaller than those used in the creation of jewellery and are known as nanodiamonds. This form of diamond is formed as a byproduct of general mining and refinement practices and has a diameter of a mere four to five nanometres and is spherical in shape.

Scientists from the University of California, LA (UCLA) School of Dentistry in collaboration with Northwestern University and the NanoCarbon Research Institute, Japan may have discovered an improvement in bone growth and a way of combating osteonecrosis, which is a debilitating condition, which causes bones to break due to a reduction if blood flow.

Osteonecrosis can affect the jaw bone, which can stop people from speaking and eating. If it affects the jaw joints it can prevent movement and much discomfort. If this bone loss occurs when a patient has a dental implant the implant can become loose and fail.

Failure in relation to dental implants often require painful and costly bone strengthening treatments, which can in turn can cause damage the functionality and new confidence the patient had gained through wearing a dental implant.

These problems are heightened when osteonecrosis occurs in the mouth, as there is only a small amount of bone available to hold a prosthetic tooth in place. A strong jaw bone is an important part in maintaining the strength of the tooth and also the appearance of the implant.

The study into the use of diamonds was led by Dr Dean Ho, a co-director at UCLA School of Dentistry in the Jane and Jerry Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology, where she also works as a professor of oral biology. The findings of the research can be found online in the Journal of Dental Research. 

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