Animal bones (cow), clay, feldspar and quartz where used to simulate the production of human teeth. The animal bones also referred to as hydroxyapatite sample was collected from an abattoir in Amansea, Anambra state, Nigeria. It was fired, calcined, crushed and sieved then used as one of the major constituent to fabricate various dental samples. The kankara clay sample was collected from Kastina state while quartz and feldspar were obtained from kogi state. The dental samples were produced by slip casting method using Plaster of Paris (P.O.P) mould. The specimens produced were to be fired at 1200ᵒC and relevant parameters: shrinkage (%), density (g/ml), porosity (%), water absorption (%), strength kg/cm2 and even chemical analysis of product samples were to be determined. Unfortunately, due to the epileptic power supply in Projects’ Development Institute (PRODA), the above targets were not met because for quite some months, no electric supply has lasted beyond one good hour.






1.0   INTRODUCTION                       

Animal bone is a rigid organ that constitutes part of the vertebral skeleton. Animal bone supports and protects the various organs of the body, produce red and white blood cell, store minerals and also enables mobility as well as support for the body.

Bones come in variety of shapes and sizes and they have a complex internal and external structure. They are lightweight yet strong and hard. Bone is an active tissue composed of different types of bone cells e.g. osteblasts are involved in the creation and mineralization of bone, ostecytes and osteclasts are involved in the reabsorption of bone tissue.

Bone consists of living cells embedded in mineralized organic matrix. This matrix consists of organic components mainly collagen-organic referring to materials produced as a result of human body and inorganic components, primary hydroxyapatite and other salts of calcium and phosphate. Above 30% of the cellular part of bone consists of the organic components and 70% of salts. The strands of collagen gives bone its tensile strength, and the interspersed crystals of hydroxyapatite give bone its compression strength. The inorganic composition of bone is primarily formed from salts of calcium and phosphate, the major salt being hydroxyapatite (Ca10(PO4)6(OH2)). The exact composition of the matrix may change over time with nutrition, with the ratio of calcium to phosphate ranging between 1.3 and 2.0 (per weight) and trace minerals such as magnesium, sodium, potassium, and carbonate also being found.


Dental ceramics are used to replace the natural dentitions or portions of it, to preserve existing dentitions, or to strengthen or enhance the existing aesthetic appearance. The science of dental, ceramics for any given application particularly in dentistry involves a study of the materials’ compositions, properties and interactions with the applied environment. Therefore, the selection of the materials must be undertaken with confidence and sound judgment (McCabe & Walls, 1998).

Many dental ceramics are fixed permanently into the patient’s mouth and removed only intermittently for cleaning. Such materials must have the capacity to withstand the effect of most hazardous environment, variations in temperature, acidity/alkalinity and high stresses. The dental ceramics fabricated for use as replacement for natural tissues place a very high demand upon the chemical, physical and biological properties. For effective functionality as a dental aid, the dental restoration must be:


  1. Compatible with biological tissues and without eliciting any adverse reactions.
  2. Capable of responding successfully to the stresses and strains.

iii.   Able to withstand the corrosive or chemical environment.

Iv. Capable of stimulating in most cases, the appearance of natural tissues in terms of both colour and translucency.

  1. Capable of being reasonably easy to fabricate by traditional methods.

1.2Statement of Problems

Tooth damage or loss of tooth is one of the major health challenges facing the human race globally. More often than not, the victims sought for artificial teeth as an alternative. In Nigeria for instance, these artificial dental restoratives are imported and costly too, hence unaffordable by the rural poor teaming population. Ironically, Nigeria is richly endowed with these raw materials (kaolin, feldspar and silica) and other clay minerals that can be exploited for the production of dental porcelain and other ceramic products (RMRDC, 2009). Regrettably, these natural resources are left untapped and unutilized. Based on the background of the problems identified, it is now high time that the dental practioners know that their working materials are abundantly available in Nigerian soil. It now becomes necessary for a synergy between the medical practioners, the geologists and the practicing materials engineers whose work it is actually to locally source, beneficiate and characterize this abundant local materials for medical practioners for restorative dental practices, hence the project

1.3Aim and objectives

The aim of this study is to use animal bone, clay,feldspar and silica to simulate the production of human teeth for dental restorative practice in Nigeria.

The specific objectives:

To measure the requisite parameters of the products, namely; shrinkage, density, porosity, water absorption and strength.

1.4    Scope of the Study

The thrust of this work involves actual procurement of the materials, mould making, fabrication processes, firings and characterization of end products

1.5     Limitation of Study

None availability of dependable firing systems which threatened and eventually marred final part of the project.