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New Research Will Forever Change the Root Canal

New Research Will Forever Change the Root Canal Dentists perform more than 15 million root canals in the United States each year to treat infected and inflamed tooth pulp caused by dental caries, trauma, fractures, or ruptured restorations. During a

New Research Will Forever Change the Root Canal

Dentists perform more than 15 million root canals in the United States each year to treat infected and inflamed tooth pulp caused by dental caries, trauma, fractures, or ruptured restorations. During a root canal procedure, an endodontist cleans the infected site, fills it with gutta percha, and then places a filling or restoration. This traditional dental treatment, however, is set to change for the better, thanks to a synthetic material developed by researchers at Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas. In fact, this material and its available research show such great promise that the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research—part of the National Institutes of Health—awarded university researchers a 5-year, $1.8 million grant to further develop a tissue engineering strategy.

At the helm of this innovative research is Xiaohua Liu, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry. Liu was awarded the grant for his creation—a combination of dental pulp stem cells and scaffolding materials in a tubular, root canal shape that allow dental pulp to regenerate itself. The result is a healthy, living, viable tooth.

Liu and his team started this study in 2011, and have faced many hurdles along the way. The most significant issue, he acknowledges, was how to ensure the regenerated dental tissue is in the right structure so that it can perform normal mechanical and biological functions. Liu’s synthetic matrix—the first of its kind—was designed to regenerate dentin found in teeth and it may offer a promising solution for patients who have tooth fracture or disease.

Hygiene Connection E-Newsletter

June 2016

Photo courtesy of Texas A&M Health Science Center 

1 Comment
  1. Laura says

    Is this still relevant for today? Or have things changed? What I’m curious about is how this will carry out, like what will the trend be for this type of stuff?

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