Development of a 3D Electrospun Collagen Based Mineralized Nanofibrous Scaffold for Alveolar Ridge Preservation Prior to Dental Implant Therapy
Millions of tooth extractions are performed every year in the United States. Immediately following, a process known as alveolar ridge resorption occurs which affects the height and width of the tooth socket through the loss of bone. The extraction of most teeth is of no concern to clinicians because they are molars that do not require future intervention. However, if the tooth that is lost is essential for function or esthetics, a need to maintain the level of bone for future implant placement remains. This is not just a problem for civilians in a clinical setting, but also a problem for warfighters. Active duty military members must pass a dental evaluation before being cleared to deploy and sometimes require quick dental intervention to achieve and maintain mission readiness. Placing grafting materials in the extraction site offers potential solutions to mitigate bone loss and promote new bone fill into the area. Grafting materials can vary widely in their composition and production style. Products currently on the market indicated for alveolar ridge preservation but offer limited efficacy data when compared to each other in order to determine which product may offer the best results. The purpose of this research is to develop a new product to help mitigate bone loss at extraction sites. The new product aims to be capable of performing as well as or better than currently available products, is easier to handle, and can be potentially more cost-effective to produce. To successfully create a new scaffold for alveolar ridge preservation the study addressed the following aims: 1) determine the characteristics of commercially available products and compare their efficacy, 2) develop an electrospinning collector capable of producing three-dimensional (3D) constructs, and 3) use the information learned in the comparative study to create a new 3D collagen-based scaffold for alveolar ridge preservation.