November 5, 2013 by
Ginelle Dientes Dental News
Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles have found that tiny diamonds could be used to improve the durability of dental implants and possibly promote bone growth in the jaw.
Much smaller thanthe decorative precious stones that are used in jewelry, these nanodiamonds measure four to five nanometers in diameter, or four to five billionths of a meter. Although they cannot be seen by the human eye, they are byproducts of mining and refining operations and are produced in copious quantities.
For this study, scientists at the UCLA School of Dentistry discovered that the unique surface of nanodiamonds aid the delivery of proteins that are used to treat osteonecrosis, a disease that results in a breakdown of affected bones. Administered with an oral rinse or an injection, nanodiamonds allow for longer, less painful treatment of the debilitating disorder. What are the benefits?
When osteonecrosis affects the jaw, often as a result of poor blood flow, it can cause intense pain that prevents patients from eating or speaking. When this deterioration occurs near dental implants, the prosthetic devices may come loose or fall out. Treatment is required to restore stability and prevent the spread of osteonecrosis.