Tooth Tissue Engineering: Potential and Pitfalls
All over the world a large number of people suffer from tooth diseases like dental caries, tooth abscess, and plaques. Tooth loss or damage, which occurs frequently in our society are generally repaired by applying several conventional methods, such as root-canal treatment, direct pulp capping and dental implants. These methods are quite painful, create damage to the surrounding tooth tissues and also may at times have adverse side-effects. The limitations of the conventional methods can be overcome by applying the concept of tooth tissue engineering. Tooth tissue engineering is the application of biosciences and engineering to regenerate a biofunctional tooth, which can be used to replace the missing tooth or repair the damaged tooth. Tissue engineering involves three key elements - cell, scaffold and growth factors, which interact with each other to regenerate a specific tissue. The success of tissue engineering depends on the proper selection of these three key elements and understanding the interactions among them. To bring us close to the realization of a tissue-engineered tooth, immense progress is going on in understanding how tooth is first developed, and there is a good advancement in tooth regeneration. In this review, “tooth tissue engineering” will be discussed, along with the recent advancements and challenges in bring a biofunctional tooth from laboratory out into clinical use.
S. Gupta et al., "Tooth Tissue Engineering: Potential and Pitfalls", Journal of Biomimetics, Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Vol. 12, pp. 59-81, 2011