Dental pulp and dentin tissue engineering and regeneration: advancement and challenge

Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2011 Jan 1;3:788-800. doi: 10.2741/e286.


Hard tissue is difficult to repair especially dental structures. Tooth enamel is incapable of self-repairing whereas dentin and cementum can regenerate with limited capacity. Enamel and dentin are commonly under the attack by caries. Extensive forms of caries destroy enamel and dentin and can lead to dental pulp infection. Entire pulp amputation followed by the pulp space disinfection and filling with an artificial rubber-like material is employed to treat the infection -- commonly known as root canal or endodontic therapy. Regeneration of dentin relies on having vital pulps; however, regeneration of pulp tissue has been difficult as the tissue is encased in dentin without collateral blood supply except from the root apical end. With the advent of modern tissue engineering concept and the discovery of dental stem cells, regeneration of pulp and dentin has been tested. This article will review the recent endeavor on pulp and dentin tissue engineering and regeneration. The prospective outcomes of current advancements and challenges in this line of research are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dental Pulp / cytology
  • Dental Pulp / physiology*
  • Dentin / cytology
  • Dentin / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*