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Regenerative Endodontics: A Review of Current Status and a Call for Action

Authors
Journal
Journal of Endodontics
0099-2399
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
33
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.joen.2006.09.013
Keywords
  • Growth Factors
  • Pulp Regeneration
  • Scaffolds
  • Stem Cells
  • Tissue Engineering
Disciplines
  • Engineering
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Millions of teeth are saved each year by root canal therapy. Although current treatment modalities offer high levels of success for many conditions, an ideal form of therapy might consist of regenerative approaches in which diseased or necrotic pulp tissues are removed and replaced with healthy pulp tissue to revitalize teeth. Researchers are working toward this objective. Regenerative endodontics is the creation and delivery of tissues to replace diseased, missing, and traumatized pulp. This review provides an overview of regenerative endodontics and its goals, and describes possible techniques that will allow regenerative endodontics to become a reality. These potential approaches include root-canal revascularization, postnatal (adult) stem cell therapy, pulp implant, scaffold implant, three-dimensional cell printing, injectable scaffolds, and gene therapy. These regenerative endodontic techniques will possibly involve some combination of disinfection or debridement of infected root canal systems with apical enlargement to permit revascularization and use of adult stem cells, scaffolds, and growth factors. Although the challenges of introducing endodontic tissue engineering therapies are substantial, the potential benefits to patients and the profession are equally ground breaking. Patient demand is staggering both in scope and cost, because tissue engineering therapy offers the possibility of restoring natural function instead of surgical placement of an artificial prosthesis. By providing an overview of the methodological issues required to develop potential regenerative endodontic therapies, we hope to present a call for action to develop these therapies for clinical use.

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