A Less Painful Root Canal? | Headline Science

A Less Painful Root Canal? | Headline Science

Root canals aren’t fun. A dentist drills off the top of an infected
tooth to access the soft tissue inside. Then the infected dental pulp is removed and
replaced with tiny rubber rods, called gutta percha, and the repaired tooth is capped with
a crown. What’s left behind in the mouth is basically
a dead tooth with an enamel tombstone. Now scientists say they have found a way to
use peptide hydrogels to stimulate growth of new blood vessels and dental pulp. They say the new process could help save infected
teeth. They presented this work at the recent American
Chemical Society National Meeting in Boston. Vivek Kumar and Peter Nguyen, from the New
Jersey Institute of Technology, sought to develop a material that could be injected
in place of the gutta percha. Their quest began with peptides that self-assemble
into a gel when injected under the skin of rats and mice. The self-assembling peptides contain protein
snippets that mimic human growth factors. Kumar wondered if the hydrogel, which has
been shown to stimulate blood vessels, could be tweaked to enhance regeneration of dental
soft tissue. So he and Nguyen added a piece of a protein
that makes dental pulp stem cells grow toward the self-assembling peptide. When the team added the peptide to the cultured
dental pulp stem cells, they found that it not only caused the cells to multiply, but
also activated them to deposit calcium phosphate — the mineral that makes up tooth enamel. Now, the team is injecting the peptide hydrogel
into the teeth of dogs that have undergone root canals to see if it can stimulate dental
pulp regeneration in a living animal. If these studies go well, the researchers
plan to move the hydrogel into human clinical studies, and have filed a patent for the redesigned
peptide. Although in its current form the hydrogel
probably won’t reduce root canal pain, Kumar and Nguyen say future versions of the peptide
will likely contain analgesics and antimicrobial domains to potentially reduce the likelihood of reinfection
and hopefully make root canals a little less unpleasant.


5 thoughts on “A Less Painful Root Canal? | Headline Science”

  • New Orchard Dentistry says:

    This is very informative video which show regarding less painful root canal to the people.  New Orchard Dentistry provides you with root canal treatment. Dr. Nashef and our professional team are dedicated to providing you with excellent, personalized and gentle dental care at the highest level possible.

  • Paweł Włodarczyk says:

    I had a root canal myself recently and I would say that this off feeling when taking every breath just sucks. It's like I had my tooth extracted and not at the same time.

    I have 2 questions regarding the subject:
    1. Will it be possible to also regenerate nerves in tooth to sense again cold, warm and pain like before?
    2. Will it be possible to apply this biomaterial also on tooth let's say 5 years after the root canal procedure. This is my guess of how long at least it will take to commercialize this solution if everything goes well.

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