The future use of stem cell-based therapies in dentistry will depend on clinicians and researchers collaborating on projects to understand the safety, efficacy and feasibility of these treatments, according to the cover story of the December issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association.
In “Stem Cells in Clinical Dentistry,” the authors discuss original data from experiments and comparative analyses and review articles describing the identification and characterization of stem cells in the oral cavity. It is the latest addition to JADA’s Oral Science Trends series, made up of invited reviews that explain where current biomedical and clinical sciences are leading to impactful changes in dentists’ ability to provide care and improve health.
Dental stem cells self-renew to maintain a pool of cells that can be activated to replace terminally differentiated cells or enable wound healing, according to the article. These cells also can differentiate into functional blood vessels and nerves.
“Initial clinical trials have shown that transplanting dental pulp stem cells into disinfected necrotic teeth has allowed for the recovery of tooth vitality and vertical and horizontal root growth in immature teeth with incomplete root formation,” the authors said in the article. “As a consequence of these groundbreaking discoveries, stem cell banks are now offering services for the cryopreservation of dental stem cells.”
Other articles in the December issue of JADA discuss articaine use in the U.S., provider perspectives on pediatric pain management and dental care for emergency department patients.
Every month, JADA articles are published online at JADA.ADA.org in advance of the print publication. ADA members can access JADA content with their ADA username and password.