Regenerative endodontics as a tissue engineering approach: past, current and future

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With the reported startling statistics of high incidence of tooth decay and tooth loss, the current interest is focused on the development of alternate dental tissue replacement therapies. This has led to the application of dental tissue engineering as a clinically relevant method for the regeneration of dental tissues and generation of bioengineered whole tooth. Although, tissue engineering approach requires the three main key elements of stem cells, scaffold and morphogens, a conductive environment (fourth element) is equally important for successful engineering of any tissue and/or organ. The applications of this science has evolved continuously in dentistry, beginning from the application of Ca(OH)(2) in vital pulp therapy to the development of a fully functional bioengineered tooth (mice). Thus, with advances in basic research, recent reports and studies have shown successful application of tissue engineering in the field of dentistry. However, certain practical obstacles are yet to be overcome before dental tissue regeneration can be applied as evidence-based approach in clinics. The article highlights on the past achievements, current developments and future prospects of tissue engineering and regenerative therapy in the field of endodontics and bioengineered teeth (bioteeth).

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