Each year, more than 235,000 Americans undergo reconstructive surgery to repair CMF damage due to injury or disease3,4. Pre-shaped metal, polymer, or bioactive ceramic implants are used in cases that require bone repair or replacement; however, those materials have an average failure rate of 5.5% (12% to 37% in the orbital region)5. Failures due to poor osseointegration; prosthetic infections; and material corrosion, degradation, and fracture6 often lead to revision surgery, hardware removal, debridement, long-term antibiotic use, and implant replacement. A better material is needed to overcome these problems.
Silicon nitride has the essential physical, mechanical, and biological characteristics to fill this gap. It has been shown to accelerate bone healing, reduce the incidence of infection, eliminate metal toxicity, enhance radiographic imaging, lessen patient pain and disability, and decrease the overall health-care burden associated with failed or failing implants, as compared to current materials2.