We have all heard about the wonders of stem cell regeneration. Albeit a controversial subject in the last decade, stem cell-based research has shown that these cells can potentially heal any kind of damage or disease.
As of now, stem cells research has shifted into another area of medicine, more specifically into stomatology.
Recently, a team of scientists from the Universities of Nottingham and Harvard, have devised a medical technique that could very way revolutionize the way cavities are treated.
The riveting technique, which also won the Royal Society’s award for chemistry involves stem cell regeneration instead of drilling into the sickened tissue. Before this technique was involved, a tooth-related disease like cavities was correct via dental surgery.
In the first stages of the disease, the doctor would drill into the affected dentin (that’s the bony-like substance that makes out most of your tooth), clear away the debris, and fill it with a material that mimics dentin.
However, in more advanced stages, dental fillings are useless. Presently, the treatment for advanced cavities is the so-called root canal. Through this surgical approach, the doctor drills even further into the tooth, in order to remove the damaged pulp.
But, as Adam Celiz, one of the members of the research team, has pointed out, this procedure is not only invasive and sometimes painful for the patient, but it also damages the area around the tooth.
Celiz and the other members of the team understood the need for another approach instead of root canals and sought answers in stem cell regeneration.
As the scientists explain it, the procedure involves stem cell regeneration, and it is far less invasive than traditional procedures. The procedure is pretty straightforward: using biomaterials, the researchers have created a special dental filling that will be placed in the affected area.
Thus, instead of covering the affected dentin, the biomaterials found inside the filling will activate the dormant stem cell found in the pulp tissue, forcing them to begin the regeneration process.
For now, the stem cell regeneration project hasn’t left the lab, but Celiz and the other scientists are confident that with the right partners, they can take the project out of the lab and into dental clinics.
As for the technique itself, the stem cell regeneration approach has been considered by the whole scientific community as a turning point for dental treatments.
Photo credits: Flickr