Today’s success: A destroyed upper jawbone
“We made something that no-one has managed to successfully do before.” Read the story of one of our first patients, Pekka.
When Pekka went to a routine dentist appointment in 2004, he did not know how one small change in his jawbone could change his life. The dentist found an aggressive, benign tumor, which progressively destroyed his jawbone. Part of Pekka’s upper jawbone had to be removed. With the help of prosthesis, Pekka was able to speak and eat, but the prosthesis caused him pain. His doctor suggested a new treatment to help his condition.
The unique treatment process began when Pekka donated one deciliter of fat, which was then taken into the laboratory. After many phases, a titanium mold shaped exactly like Pekka’s own upper jawbone, filled with stem cells and biomaterial, was processed successfully. Inside the mold, stem cells began to differentiate and create new bone.
To make sure the bone grew as planned and that blood vessels would develop, the mold had to be placed inside Pekka’s abdominal muscle. “I was able to feel the bone mold at first, but then my body got used to it”, he says. The bone grew fast and after 8 months, it was ready to be taken out and placed in Pekka’s upper jaw in a routine operation.
The first days and weeks after the operation were difficult for Pekka – his head was swollen and it was hard for him to even close his mouth. However, it was impressive how just a couple of months after the operation Pekka had recovered almost entirely. One step was still left – new teeth had to be planted in the new upper jawbone.
Almost two years after the groundbreaking treatment process started, Pekka’s jaw has healed perfectly. “I guess I have to learn to live my normal everyday life again”, he says and grins.