human mandibleA new device by Norwegian researchers can help rebuild the faces of patients who have been disfigured by jaw cancer and help patients with loose teeth caused by gum disease. The process uses artificial bone scaffolding that determines where new bone tissue will grow.

After surgery to treat jaw cancer, patients are often left with disfigured faces. Bone can also be
damaged by cancer, infections, and accidents. Now a new invention, called NuBone, by researchers at the University of Oslo Faculty of Dentistry helps the body generate new bone as strong as the original, according to the school. Using this method, dentists can insert artificial, foam-rubbershaped
scaffolding that determines where new bone tissue will grow, helping the body repair the damage itself. The device can also help patients with periodontitis (gum disease), which can cause the bone adjacent to teeth to break down, loosening teeth. The artificial scaffolding is as strong as real bone and yet porous enough for bone tissue and blood vessels to grow into it and work as a reinforcement for the new bone.