Your oral health consists of a complex combination of oral tissues and supporting structures that all depend on each other. Your teeth, for instance, are supported by your gums, periodontal ligaments and jawbone. If these supporting structures are compromised (by gum disease, for instance), they can no longer support your teeth, and tooth loss can follow. Consequently, losing a tooth can lead to the deterioration of your jawbone. Luckily, your Encinitas periodontist Dr. Ann Kania offers dental implants—the only dental prosthetic that replaces your entire tooth structure and helps prevent jawbone degradation. The success of an implant, however, depends on an adequate amount of jawbone for support. Patients who lack this support often have to undergo additional procedures to fortify their jaws, which can include bone grafts. New stem cell research, however, may some day help provide an innovative method for jawbone regeneration as an alternative to bone grafts.
Rebuilding Your Jawbone with Stem Cells
Researchers from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and the Michigan Center for Oral Health Research recently conducted a clinical trial involving 24 participants. The patients all required jawbone reconstruction following tooth removal. Half of them received traditional guided bone regeneration, while the other half received experimental tissue repair stem cells. At six and twelve weeks, the patients received dental implants. Those who received the experimental cells had greater bone density and quicker bone repair than their counterparts.
The Promising Future of Dentistry
While the results of the study point to a promising future for the world of dentistry, the innovations of today can help you prevent the need for jawbone reconstruction in the first place. For excellent periodontal care, contact Dr. Kania at our Encinitas periodontal care office by calling (706) 642-0711. We serve patients from Encinitas, San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, La Costa, and the neighboring communities.