Regeneration!

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PROGRESS IN REGENERATION of dental tissue and teeth has been developing dramatically. Not only dental pulp tissues but also teeth as whole units are showing progress in their ability to regenerate. Dental pulp tissues’ ability to regenerate has come closer to being possible as has the ability for tooth replacement. “Cell homing” is creating the possibility of having a new tooth form in the space in the jaw bone where the tooth is missing.

Regeneration of dental and pulp tissue can restore strength to the tooth. Losing the dental pulp weakens the tooth as it loses vital tissue. Regeneration promotes the growth of new tissue. Many treatment modalities are used to encourage regeneration, including growth factors, stem cells, and MTA. The growth factor vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been seen to play a role in enhancing neovascularization. In addition, dental pulp stem cells (DPSC) encourage the growth of blood vessels that are vital for pulpal regeneration. MTA has been used in pulp capping and apexification techniques that have been associated with the presence of new tissue growth. “Cell homing” techniques use bioscaffolds with growth factors to stimulate the migration of cells to the site for new tissue to be formed.

The ability to stimulate the growth of pulpal tissue is important in the preservation of the tooth. In order to stimulate the formation of new pulpal tissue, regenerative techniques are utilized. The ability to restore the tooth to function naturally by regenerating its tissue would be ideal for the patient. At the present time, regrowth of the pulpal tissue in the pulpal chamber is not possible. Regeneration is developing for the formation of dental pulp tissue. However, the continued advances being made in regenerative research may one day make regeneration of the pulpal tissue possible.

January - March 2013

Advances in regenerative research may make regeneration of the pulpal tissue possible.