New Treatment Uses Dental Stem Cells to Heal Teeth

Could root canals one day become a thing of the past?

That might just happen if a new treatment developed by scientists at Harvard University and the University of Nottingham catches on.

The fresh approach by researchers that was just awarded a Royal Society of Chemistry prize works to stimulate native stem cells inside teeth, triggering repair and regeneration of pulp tissue.

Dental fillings in their current state don’t do anything to help heal teeth and are actually toxic to cells, Dr. Adam Celiz of the University of Nottingham says.

“In cases of dental pulp disease and injury, a root canal is typically performed to remove the infected tissues,” Dr. Celiz said in a statement. The new treatment “can be used similarly to dental fillings but can be placed in direct contact with pulp tissue to stimulate the native stem cell population for repair and regeneration of pulp tissue and the surrounding dentin.”

The breakthrough could potentially impact millions of dental patients every year, the scientists say.


(Photo by Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images)