Associates In Facial and Oral Surgery
Oral Surgery
Monroeville PA
412-374-9030

Bone Morphogenetic Protein

Bone morphogenetic protein (BMPs) are a group of growth factors or cytokines present in marginal concentration in the body which are known for many growth properties especially the ability to induce the formation of bone and cartilage.  The original bone morphogenetic protein was discovered by Marshal Urist in 1965, and he proposed the name “bone morphogenetic protein” in the scientific literature in the Journal of Dental Research in 1971.  Over the years up to 20 BMPs have been isolated. Initially, it was very difficult to chemically and physically extract the protein in the laboratory.  In recent years specific bone morphogenetic proteins that are useful in oral and maxillofacial surgery, and orthopedic surgery have been produced and concentrated by using recombinant DNA technology.  As an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Dr. Catone can use specific BMPs to assist in reconstructing the dental ridges to enhance bone formation to provide sufficient bone to enable the placement of dental implants or to rescue teeth that have lost bone support.

There are specific cellular receptors on the cell surface referred to as bone morphogenetic protein receptors which engage the BMP molecules which will activate the ability of certain cells to begin to produce bone tissue. Members of the BMP family of proteins are potentially useful as facilitators in such areas as bone generation for dental implants, regeneration of lost bone in individual teeth from periodontal disease, sinus lift bone grafting procedures to provide bone for implant placement in the upper jaw, and the treatment of delayed union and non unions of fractures of the jaw. BMP-2 and BMP-7 (BMPs are numbered 1 through 20) have received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for human clinical uses.

The use of rhBMP-2 (recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein) has the ability to stimulate the patient’s own cells to make more bone. This finding has obvious beneficial potentials for the treatment of many maxillofacial conditions such as bone defects and bone contour deficiencies of the facial bones. Bone morphogenetic protein therefore, can have a significant impact on patient care because in most cases the need for bone harvesting and transplantation from other body sites such as the hip can be eliminated.

Dr. Catone has used rhBMP-2 which is available from Medtronic Corporation (USA) in salvage procedures, sinus lift bone grafting procedures, and fractures of the lower jaw. The BMP is provided as a liquid in vials and the liquid is mixed with sterile saline and applied to a resorbable collagen sponge with activates the protein. This sponge is then placed at the site of bone loss or bone need. A period of months is required for the bone regeneration to occur. Dr. Catone feels that these powerful biological proteins with their osteoinductive (bone forming) properties will find other numerous uses in many other surgical specialties and this will enable the modification of surgical techniques to minimize the invasiveness of many operations.  Dr. Catone’s goal is to decrease the pain associated with any surgical procedure and enhance recovery, improve the effectiveness of the surgery provided, and to significantly reduce the downtime for the patient and return the patient to more healthy and productive lives.

Ask Dr. Catone if you are a candidate for the use of bone morphogenetic protein.