Endodontists delve into the world of regenerative medicine with evidence of tissue restoration after regenerative endodontic therapy.
Endodontics has recently joined other medical practices in the venture of exploring regenerative treatment methods through stem cell research. At Professional Endodontics, we make it a priority to keep up to date with all advances in our field and so we’ve been keeping a close eye on case studies and discoveries regarding this new treatment method. So far, we know that regenerative endodontic therapy aims to successfully treat challenging cases of pulpal necrosis by regenerating functional pulpal tissue utilizing protocols referred to as regenerative endodontic procedures (REP). But, to further understand the process and intent of these procedures, Professional Endodontics breaks it down below.
A Broad View of Regenerative Endodontic Therapy
According to the publication Endodontics: Colleagues For Excellence in an issue titled Regenerative Endodontics, regenerative endodontic therapy can be defined as “biologically based procedures designed to replace damaged structures, including dentin and root structures, as well as cells of the pulp-dentin complex.” Through tissue engineering, endodontists have witnessed that “healing of apical periodontitis, continued development of the root apex and increased thickness of the root canal wall of immature teeth with pulpal necrosis can occur after REPs.” There are three key components to tissue engineering:
- Stem Cells – Stem cells are undifferentiated cells with the ability to continuously divide. There are two types of stem cells: embryonic and adult. Embryonic cells have the ability to develop into approximately 200 cell types. On the other hand, an adult cell has the ability to divide and create cells like itself, and differentiations of itself, but differentiation is limited.
- Scaffolds – scaffolds “provide support for cell organization, proliferation, differentiation, and vascularization.” Scaffolds can be created as biodegradable or permanent fixtures made from natural materials, or from dentin as well as the blood clot or platelet-rich plasma in the root canal.
- Growth Factors – Growth factors are “proteins that bind to receptors on the cell and act as signals to induce cellular proliferation and/or differentiation.”
These three key elements work together to regenerate damaged tissue through a multi-step process: 1) Disinfecting pulpal space. 2) Releasing growth factors from dentin. 3) Delivering stem cells into the root canal by stimulating bleeding. 4) Creating a scaffold. 5) Sealing the tooth. The desired outcome depends on the case, but a few of the observed benefits in successful cases are: an absence of prior signs and symptoms, radiographic evidence of resolution of periapical infections, continued root development and increased canal wall thickness in permanent immature teeth.
Regenerative therapy is a new and exciting option to explore for endodontists. The goal for all our patients at Professional Endodontics is to retain their natural teeth. Our staff is eager to see what this promising new treatment method will offer to help us reach that goal. For more information about Regenerative Endodontic Therapy and other alternative treatment methods, contact Professional Endodontics.
About Professional Endodontics
Professional Endodontics has been exceeding the standard of care in Wayne and Macomb counties for over 50 years. The team specializes with treating issues with the inside of the tooth and goes out of its way to provide a safe easy environment for patients. Each member of the practice is dedicated to providing excellence in patient care and values high-quality relationships with referring dentists and specialists. Each endodontist at Professional Endodontics has been individually chosen as Best Dentists. Thanks to contemporary advances in endodontics, Professional Endodontics is able to use innovative technology to treat and save teeth that have suffered damage to the soft tissue within the roots of the tooth.
Professional Endodontics now offers three state-of-the art facilities in Clinton Township, St. Clair Shores, and a fully renovated Southfield location in the Comerica Tower. All locations offer the latest in advanced dental deliver systems, microscopy, and digital radiography.
29201 Telegraph Road
Southfield, MI 48034