This study evaluated the influence of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (rhBMP-2) on the development and eruption of the secondary dentition. Primary premolar tooth extraction sockets in 12 16-week-old felines were implanted with either rhBMP-2, in collagen sponge or with buffer/absorbable collagen sponge (ACS). Unoperated jaw quadrants served as controls. Experimental conditions were randomized between jaw quadrants in all animals. Two animals receiving rhBMP-2/ACS and buffer/ACS in two quadrants per implant were sacrificed at 4 weeks postsurgery. Ten animals receiving rhBMP-2/ACS (two quadrants), buffer/ACS implants (one quadrant), and one quadrant serving as an unoperated control were evaluated at 12 weeks postsurgery. Clinical assessments included healing, eruption patterns, and crown development. Radiographic assessments included tooth development, eruption patterns, and bone formation. Histological observations were also made from the 4-week animals. The secondary dentition remained unerupted at 4 weeks postsurgery. Histological analysis showed normal alveolar bone coronal to the erupting teeth in rhBMP-2/ACS-implanted quadrants. At 12 weeks postsurgery, all teeth were erupted without differences between quadrants. Clinically, the crowns of all teeth were normal. Radiographs suggested that teeth in rhBMP-2/ACS- and buffer/ACS-implanted jaw quadrants exhibited similar tooth development and eruption patterns as the normal control. The evidence from this study suggests that surgical implantation of rh-BMP-2/ACS in the pathway of the developing and erupting secondary dentition does not interfere with the normal development and eruption patterns of the teeth.
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