The end of root canals, one step closer

The end of root canals, one step closer

Hundreds of millions of root canals are produced each year, but this may soon come to an end.

As you know, when a tooth is damaged by decay or some other type of injury, we have several options. Among them, endodontics (of which between 10-15% fail) or directly the removal of the teeth and the placement of an artificial dental implant in its place. As you can imagine, this last option is the most expensive of all.

But what if we could end all these practices? What if instead of doing endodontics or using dental implants we could enhance the damaged tooth to heal itself? The same is suggested by the researchers of a joint project between the Harvard University and the University of Nottingham: Teeth that heal themselves thanks to stem cells.

A stem cell biomaterial, the end of root canals

With all these data in mind, Adam Celiz and his colleagues from specialists in therapeutic biomaterials from the University of Nottingham have tried to find a good substitute for current endodontic techniques where the pulp of the tooth and soft tissue (which contains blood vessels, nerves and other tissues) are removed, a treatment that ends up weakening the base of the tooth and that, sometimes, implies that the tooth needs to be removed.

His method is to use a synthetic biomaterial which stimulates the growth of stem cells in the pulp of the tooth. In the same way that biomaterials currently used only as a filler, this stem cell-based material is also injected directly into the tooth and hardened with ultraviolet light.

The root canals of the future are closer

In in vitro laboratory tests, this stem cell biomaterial has achieved stimulate the proliferation and differentiation of these cells in the dentin, the seo tissue that forms most of the tooth just below the white enamel. According to the researchers, using this type of filling on a damaged tooth could repair the tooth without ultimately weakening it or even replacing it with a dental implant, as is the case today.

Celiz thinks that, in the near future, all root canals may be based on this stem cell biomaterial As a treatment to repair damaged teeth, which would be able to heal themselves by reducing the failure rate of current fillings, and even eliminate the need to remove dental roots.

In fact, this group of researchers has won the second prize in the category of emerging technologies of the Royal Society of Chemistry this year.

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