Millions of teeth are saved each year by root canal therapy. Although current treatment
modalities offer high levels of success for many conditions, an ideal form of therapy might
consist of regenerative approaches in which diseased or necrotic pulp tissues are removed
and replaced with healthy pulp tissue in order to revitalize teeth.
The long term goal of this research project is to develop a method to regenerate dental
pulp-like tissue as an alternative method to conventional root canal treatment. The
objective of this study is to identify the methods necessary to regenerate dental pulp-like
tissue in human teeth. We will collect small (~4X4mm) pieces of oral mucosa that are
normally removed during surgical tooth extractions, isolate human postnatal progenitor/stem
cells and, using an in vitro cell culture system, combined isolated cells with various
scaffolds and test compounds to determine optimal conditions to differentiate pulp-like
tissue (eg, odontoblasts, fibroblasts, endothelium, etc) grown in segments of human roots.
- Pre-existing indication for surgical extraction of impacted teeth
- Age 16-65
- Ages less than 16 or over 65
- No pre-existing indication for surgical extraction of impacted teeth