Currently, many patients requiring dental implants must wait for three months for bone to grow in the tooth socket after an extraction because the alveolar ridge must be of adequate height and width to anchor an implant. If too much resorption has occurred, a bone graft is needed. Patients requiring a large graft have bone surgically harvested from their own chin, jaw, skull, or hip (autograft). Those needing a small graft receive commercially-produced animal-derived bone from bovine or porcine sources. These are expensive and not acceptable to patients with religious restrictions.
Recovery time after a bone graft ranges from five to 14 days, and there are potential post-operative complications such as pain, swelling, infection, graft non-take and resorption. Patients must also wait about six months for the graft to heal before an implant can be placed.
If the enhanced dental plugs prove successful, patients needing dental implants can benefit from a shorter and less painful treatment process, as the plugs are placed immediately after extraction, and an additional bone graft surgery may be obviated. They are likely to also experience cost saving compared to an autograft or animal-derived graft, as the dental plugs are 3D-printed in bulk using synthetic materials.
"We are continually looking for ways to collaborate with bioengineers and the medtech industry to co-develop innovative and value-based solutions that can be translated to better treatments and outcomes. If successful, the bioresorbable 3D-printed dental plug will significantly improve the experience of patients who need dental implants," commented Clinical Associate Professor Goh Bee Tin, Director, Research and Education, NDCS, who is leading the trial.
"Osteopore International is pleased to collaborate with the strong clinical research teams of NDCS and SCRI to validate the clinical efficacy of our second generation regenerative technologies in dental socket preservation. These easy to use implants could save significant operative time for dental surgeons and deliver quality bone regeneration," said Mr Goh Khoon Seng, Chief Executive Officer, Osteopore International.
"In this landmark research project where we are studying this new treatment option to our patients, the SCRI team is proud to work hand in hand with the clinical team from NDCS and the product manufacturing team from Osteopore to enable this study to be done at the highest quality and we hope this project will eventually translate to a better treatment option for our patients in the future," said Associate Professor Teoh Yee Leong, Public Health Physician and CEO, Singapore Clinical Research Institute.
The clinical trial is recruiting 138 patients till January 2020. For enquiries to participate, members of the public can contact the NDCS clinical research office at +65 6324 8754 / +65 6435 2068 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org