Health Buzz: How Stem Cells Could End Root Canals

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From US News and World Report
By David Oliver

What if you could skip that visit to the dentist because your teeth could heal themselves?

Researchers from the University of Nottingham and the Wyss Institute at Harvard University developed new regenerative dental fillings that use the stem cells inside your teeth to repair tissue – potentially making root canals ancient history.

During a root canal, the pulp of the tooth and the nerve are removed. If the new treatment becomes the norm, fillings made of synthetic biomaterials would be inserted, stimulating dental stem cells to repair and regenerate dentin, which is the bony substance that accounts for most of a tooth.

Stem cells can serve many different functions in the body, including repairs, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; they're currently used, for example, to help treat spinal cord injuries, arthritis and diabetes.

For patients who suffer from dental disease or undergo dental surgery, the new treatment could be extraordinary.

The promising research earned second place at the Royal Society of Chemistry's Emerging Technologies Competition 2016, competing in the materials category.

Read the original here.