The Future of Dental Repair: Beyond Implants

Alberty, Erika, Billi King, Jessica Welton, and Fabiola Zamudio

Purpose

The purpose of our table clinic is to explore upcoming options for repairing or regenerating teeth.

Summary

The history of dentistry dates as far back as 166 A.D. with dental prosthetics using gold crowns and fixed bridgework. Over time, dentistry has evolved into technologies such as amalgams, onlays, inlays, composites, extensive bridgework, partial or complete dentures, and veneers.

Currently, lasers and implants are on the rise; however, there are researchers uncovering new ideas related to completely regenerating teeth all together. There are studies being conducted in which stem cells are derived from various sources such as: Adult and deciduous dental pulp, hematopoietic and mesenchymal cells from bone marrow, or multi lineage cells isolated from adipose tissue, artery walls and umbilical cord blood. 

So far, the researchers have been able to grow a variety of tooth-like structures in non-human subjects such as rats and pigs.  Together, these results have proven that the distant future of tooth regeneration is promising, but still limited to animal studies. 

Conclusion

Having an esthetically pleasing dentition impacts one’s quality of life. For centuries, people have strived to maintain their functionality by restorations and attempting to improve technology. As time advances, technologies continue to advance as well.  With studies continuing to be conducted on tooth regeneration, what once seemed impossible may become possible in distant future.