The Medical Research Council (MRC) have given a grant of nearly £500k to researchers within Queen Mary University of London’s School of Dentistry to assess the effectiveness of a new injectable bone graft material used to replace missing bone in implant dentistry.
The research is supported by industry partners Straumann and Geistlich BioPharma and will see the novel bone graft, previously developed by a team of experts at QMUL, be subjected to more research to fulfil requirements for manufacturing, marketing and selling the new product.
The research team will include experts in the fields of dental materials and oral biology and will be led by Dr Shakeel Shahdad, Consultant and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer with QMUL and Barts Health NHS Trust.
Dr Shahdad said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded this research grant and are hugely excited about developing our product and eventually rolling it out to patients.
“The MRC funding will be used to compare the performance of two of our novel material formulations – with regards to their abilities to preserve the dimensions of the bone after tooth extraction and promote new bone formation around dental implants – compared to the current synthetic gold standard material.”
Currently, all bone substitute materials used in dentistry to fill bone defects are at increased risk of the procedure failing and make it harder for the clinician to carry out the surgery as they are in the form of granules that do not set or harden upon application, which causes them to move around.
In contrast, the new materials that Dr Shahdad and his team will work with are in the form of injectable pastes, similar to putty, that can be easily moulded into the desired shape. The materials harden within a few minutes after being injected into the surgical site, ensuring a completely sealed filling of the site without any parts becoming dislodged after implantation.
An added benefit is the materials’ improved handling properties and ease of use, simplifying the surgical procedure and making it easier for patients.
Dr Shahdad added: “The introduction of these novel injectable materials in dentistry will help overcome the limits of other synthetic materials currently available, such as low degradation rate, poor handling properties and low stability in the site of implantation, which are associated with failures of the surgical procedure.
“The clinical use of this material for implant dentistry will be beneficial for patients as it will lead to better outcomes, faster healing times and a shorter surgical time. This ultimately reduced patient morbidity, improves the quality of life and reduces costs to the NHS.”