[Frontiers in Bioscience E3, 788-800, January 1, 2011]
Dental pulp and dentin tissue engineering and regeneration: advancement and challenge
Boston University, Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA 02118
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Hard tissue is difficult to repair especially dental structures. Tooth enamel is incapable of self-repairing whereas dentin and cememtum can regenerate with limited capacity. Enamel and dentin are commonly under the attack by caries. Extensive forms of caries destroy enamel and dentin and can lead to dental pulp infection. Entire pulp amputation followed by the pulp space disinfection and filled with an artificial rubber-like material is employed to treat the infection -- commonly known as root canal or endodontic therapy. Regeneration of dentin relies on having vital pulps; however, regeneration of pulp tissue has been difficult as the tissue is encased in dentin without collateral blood supply except from the root apical end. With the advent of modern tissue engineering concept and the discovery of dental stem cells, regeneration of pulp and dentin has been tested. This article will review the recent endeavor on pulp and dentin tissue engineering and regeneration. The prospective outcome of the current advancement and challenge in this line of research will be discussed.