According to new research at UCLA, nanodiamonds may be used in the future to combat bone loss that can occur either as a result of disease or adjacent to dental implants. Unlike current surface treatments for dental implants which are designed to help the initial binding of the implant to the bone, the nanodiamonds might be used to build up bones before implantation or treat bone loss that occurs later, taking the place of sponges that are currently used to deliver this medication.
What Are Nanodiamonds?
Nanodiamonds are very small diamonds, approximate 4-5 nm across (about 1 / 5,000,000 of an inch). They are microscopic, spherical in shape, and a byproduct of conventional mining and refining operations.
How Nanodiamonds Can Help Bone Growth
Currently, augmenting bone growth, either in preparation for a dental implant, to counteract the effects of diseases like osteonecrosis, or to rebuild bone when it is lost around a dental implant requires surgery. The surgery involves the implantation of a special cellulose sponge infused with hormones that encourage bone growth. These include bone morphogenic protein-2 (BMP-2) and basic fibrolast growth factor (bFGF).
Nanodiamonds have actually been used to deliver a number of proteins and peptides to the body, but the hope was that they might also be able to help deliver proteins related to bone regrowth.
Researchers at UCLA found that the BMP-2 and bFGF both could be bound to the nanodiamonds, and that the nanodiamonds would readily release the compounds when in presence of bone-building cells. This would allow the complex surgical procedures for bone repair to be replaced by a simple injection.
Nanodiamonds have been proven safe in previous applications, and they did not give any evidence of danger in any of the animal models tested.
Great Dental Implants Today
Although the nanodiamond technology is many years from realization, the current dental implants give great results and can last for a lifetime when properly cared for. To learn more about how dental implants can benefit you, please contact Strober Dental in San Diego, California, today.