root kanal

May 29, 2014 by in Health, Healthy Living

US researchers claim lasers have been used to regenerate parts of damaged teeth and may be used to treat root canal treatments.

The laser beam triggered a series of changes that led to the formation of new dentin, the layer below the enamel, in animal tests.

The results, in Science Translational Medicine, showed stem cells in the dental pulp were activated. Experts said it was intriguing, but a long way from the dentist’s chair. The team at Harvard University used a drill to remove part of a tooth in mice and rats. One dose of laser therapy on the damaged tooth led to the production of a partial layer of dentin 12 weeks later.

While it was not a perfect match for natural dentin, researchers argue it would be easier to achieve with human teeth which would be larger and by refining the laser. The scientists could not produce a new layer of the hard enamel that protects the tooth from wear and tear.

However, Dr Praveen Arany said his research could have a role in preventing root canal treatment – the dreaded and painful procedure involving the removal of a tooth’s nerve and blood vessels. Dental cement is currently used to trigger new dentin formation, but it is not always successful.

Dr Arany told the BBC that lasers may be a better option. He said, “The laser tool and the mechanism we have outlined would ideally be used in pulp capping that would prevent root canal treatment and hopefully preserve the tooth without the need for it to be eventually extracted. But once you reach the pulp and the pulp is necrotic, the cells you have to work with are no longer there so this would not work in those cases.”

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