Most of us have at least heard the term ‘stem cell therapy.’ Researchers have been studying the use of stem cells for several years now. Experts are extending their research into the field of dentistry. They are working on a way that can help in replacing root canal by stem cells.
A root canal is a dental procedure involving the removal of the soft center of the tooth, the pulp. The pulp is made up of nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels that help the tooth grow. When an infection has spread into the pulp of the tooth, often, dentists recommend this procedure. The process involves drilling deep into the affected tooth, removing the pulp, then filling the tooth and sealing it off. Although the tooth remains functional since a it doesn’t require pulp to function, a root canal does in effect kill the tooth due to the removal of nerves, connecting tissue and blood vessels (pulp).
Stem cell therapy eliminating root canal
Researchers are developing a new type of filling that can help restore decaying teeth and potentially replacing root canal by stem cells. The process involves injecting a material made partly from stem cells into an affected tooth. The process of applying these fillings to a decaying tooth is similar to that for traditional fillings, but the way they work once applied is quite different. After injecting the filling, the stem cells will theoretically allow the tooth to heal itself. “As opposed to dental fillings, these materials have functions that enable them to stimulate stem cells within the pulp tissue to enable tissues lost through tooth decay to be restored.”
Root canals are very efficient at what they do. However, once a tooth undergoes this treatment, it has little to no chance of recovering its initial healthy state. The benefit of this procedure is to restore the normal dental pulp function in the root canal space rather than filling it with a rubbery material. Therefore, the tooth may be able to feel sensations like coldness, hotness and pain. This may also restore the defense mechanism which are important for long tooth age.
The new technology, if proven true and made available, could significantly help in replacing root canal by stem cells. The research is still in its early stages, yet the future looks promising.