Saulacic Lab

Cranio-Maxillofacial Research

The main focus of the cranio-maxillofacial surgery lays the treatment of facial fractures and bony deficiencies due to atrophy and growth disturbances. The possibility of bone regeneration is influenced by several factors. Facial skeleton is a complex structure consisting of different tissues with variable characteristics. Adult bone repair is a bone morphogenic process that involves an ensemble of genes distinctive from those involved in embryonic skeletogenesis. Actually, bone has the unique ability to regenerate upon injuries without forming a scar. Periosteal activity is particularly important for the cranio-facial region, because of the exclusively membranous apposition and the absence of cartilage growth.

Regeneration of extended alveolar ridges deficiencies is one of the most challenging goals. In the developed world, more than 600 million people are affected by tooth loss. The American College of Prosthodontists estimates that the number of partially edentulous patients will continue to rise. In Europe alone, the number of dental implants placed per year has been estimated at 5.5–6 millions. However, over 50% of dental implants are placed following or simultaneously to bone grafting procedure. As a result, the bone become the second most transplanted tissue worldwide after blood. A demand for implant-supported fixed or removable overdentures continues to increase due to the ageing population and lifestyle changes, especially in the developing countries.