Regenerative Endodontics Could Open New Frontiers
New research into regenerative technologies may revolutionize clinicians’ approach to endodontic therapy.
New research into regenerative technologies may revolutionize clinicians’ approach to endodontic therapy. Led by Xiaohua Liu, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, scientists have developed a synthetic biomaterial that may allow endodontically compromised teeth to remain vital. The researchers have been awarded a five-year, $1.8 million grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research to further develop a tissue engineering strategy that uses dental pulp stem cells and tubular scaffolding to allow pulp to regenerate.
Among the hurdles the team has faced since research began in 2011, the most significant, Liu says, was learning how to coax the regenerated dental tissue into the right structure so it can perform normal mechanical and biological functions.
Jianing He, DMD, PhD, an adjunct associate professor of endodontics at Baylor who is consulting on the project, notes that gutta-percha used in traditional root canal treatment “does not strengthen the root, nor does it provide any defense against bacterial invasion; it simply acts as a space filler. This approach will allow continued development of the tooth — and, just like the natural tissue, it will have its own defense mechanisms to protect against future infection.”
From Decisions in Dentistry. July 2016;1(09):8.