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Regenerative Endodontics: overview and treatment options

By: Tom C. Pagonis, DDS, MS

Regenerative endodontics involves using the principles of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine to restore the function and vitality of a damaged or diseased dental pulp. Here are the main aspects of regenerative endodontics and some of the specific treatments that are used:

  1. Overview: Regenerative endodontics is a type of endodontic treatment that seeks to replace damaged or diseased pulp tissue in a tooth with healthy tissue. This is done using biologically active materials, growth factors, and stem cells.
  2. Indications: Regenerative endodontics is typically used to treat teeth that have suffered trauma or other types of damage that have caused the dental pulp to die. It may also be used in cases where traditional endodontic treatment has failed, or in cases of dental caries that have caused pulp exposure.
  3. Treatment options: The specific treatments used in regenerative endodontics may vary depending on the individual case, but they generally involve a multi-step process that includes disinfection of the root canal system, placement of a scaffold or matrix to support new tissue growth, and the introduction of growth factors and stem cells to promote tissue regeneration.

Specific treatments that may be used in regenerative endodontics include:

    • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy: This involves using a patient's own blood to isolate and concentrate growth factors, which are then introduced into the root canal to stimulate tissue regeneration.
    • Stem cell therapy: This involves the use of stem cells, which can differentiate into various types of tissue, to help regenerate pulp tissue. These cells may be obtained from a variety of sources, including the patient's own tooth, bone marrow, or adipose tissue.
    • Revascularization: This involves promoting the growth of new blood vessels in the root canal system, which can help to support the growth of new pulp tissue.
4. Clinical outcomes: While regenerative endodontic treatments are still relatively new and the evidence base is limited, there is some evidence to suggest that these treatments can be effective in restoring the function and vitality of damaged pulp tissue. 

In summary, regenerative endodontics is a promising field of endodontics that aims to restore the function and vitality of damaged or diseased dental pulp. Specific treatments may include PRP therapy, stem cell therapy, and revascularization, among others, and these treatments have the potential to be effective in promoting tissue regeneration and improving clinical outcomes. However, more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and limitations of regenerative endodontic treatments.

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