Eliminating the need for root canals, scientists have developed a way to regenerate teeth with stem cells.
The team behind the new discovery have earned a prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry for what judges called a “new paradigm for dental treatments.”
Scientists from the University of Nottingham and Harvard have revolutionized the way we treat dental problems such as the need for a root canal. Allowing teeth to heal themselves, the stem cells actually regenerate the tooth. This in turn could get rid of the need for expensive procedures and invasive drilling and/or fillings.
“Existing dental fillings are toxic to cells and are therefore incompatible with pulp tissue inside the tooth,” said Adam Celiz, a research fellow from the University of Nottingham. “In cases of dental pulp disease and injury a root canal is typically performed to remove the infected tissues.”
The special filling, when placed in the tooth, stimulates stem cells which encourages the growth of dentin (the material which makes up most of our teeth). This allows for patients to essentially regrow their damaged teeth. Much quicker, safer and less expensive, the procedure will be looked forward to by many a dentist and patient.
Celiz describes the process,
“We have designed synthetic biomaterials that can be used similarly to dental fillings but can be placed in direct contact with pulp tissue to stimulate the native stem cell population for repair and regeneration of pulp tissue and the surrounding dentin.”
The procedure is not yet available to the public. But rest easy knowing that dental repair just got a whole lot easier and less traumatic.