New Dental Product May Slash Treatment Costs

In New Zealand, hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent treating bone fractures and on dental surgery every day – but a new material created from cattle bones at the University of Otago could change that, a researcher says.

Dr Jithendra Ratnayake said synthetic hydroxyapatite material used to temporarily fill in gaps before bones healed – for instance deep holes left when dentists extracted wisdom teeth – was powdery and difficult to handle, as well as being ”really expensive”.

It could cost $600 for a small cube of the material, and was one of the reasons why having wisdom teeth out was so dear.

Using cattle bones as a base, it was possible to form a new material which was easier to work with, more solid and porous.

The same amount of the new material cost only about $10, Dr Ratnayake said.

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