Dental Materials

Dental Materials

There are a number of materials that we utilize in our office when rendering periodontal, laser and dental implant treatments to our patients.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are made of titanium alloy that is very compatible and well-tolerated by the human body. They mimic natural teeth’s roots and are anchored inside the jawbone. Osseointegration is a term used to describe the intimate integration of titanium implant screw to the jawbone. It is extremely rare that a person would develop rejection to titanium dental implant. Currently, newer generation of dental implants are being made with zirconium alloy which also has been shown to be very compatible with human body and to integrate with jawbone. Zirconia dental implants are still not yet available in the United States. The main advantage of zirconia implant is its white color.

Bone Grafting Materials

The purpose of the bone grafting materials is to provide scaffolds onto which the bone cells in your body can migrate and perform their jobs. Because human body is constantly turning over bone, the bone grafting materials placed at the surgical sites will eventually be metabolized by the body, and at the same time new bone (patient’s own bone) will be generated. Commonly used bone grafting materials are as follows:

  1. allografts derived from another individual
  2. xenografts derived from either bovine or equine
  3. autografts derived from the patient him/herself
  4. alloplasts (synthetic bone)

Barrier Membranes

In general, the bone cells in human body move slower than the gum cells. Barrier membrane is placed over the site where new bone formation is intended. This membrane acts as a barrier that prevents the gum cells from competing against the bone cells so the bone cells will have enough time to travel to the grafted site and to start making new bone. In certain situations, it is not necessary to use barrier membranes. There are two types of barrier membranes:  resorbable and non-resorbable membranes. Resorbable membranes are usually collagen matrices derived from porcine and the membranes will eventually be digested by the body after a period of time (1-6 months). Non-resorbable membranes are usually made of Gortex® that is extremely compatible with human body. Non-resorbable membranes will not be digested by the body and will need to be removed.

Growth Factors

Every cell in your body needs to receive growth factors in order to survive and exert its function. Growth factors used in periodontics and bone grafting procedures are there to “boost up” the cells in your body to perform their jobs. The use of growth factors often results in faster wound closure and better bone formation. The currently available growth factors used in periodontics and dental implant therapy are Emdogain®, Gem21S® and INFUSE®. Emdogain® (enamel matrix derivatives of porcine origin) has been shown to promote periodontal regeneration. Gem21S® (recombinant human platelet-derived growth factor) has been demonstrated to enhance soft tissue healing and bone formation. INFUSE® (recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2) has been documented to stimulate bone formation.