As a mineralised connective tissue, dentine is well adapted to its functional role as a major structural component of the tooth. Although similar in composition to bone, dentine matrix is not remodelled physiologically and traditionally, has been regarded as a rather inert tissue. Nevertheless, dentine-pulp demonstrates strong regenerative potential which allows it to respond to disease and traumatic injury. Such responses are strongly influenced by cell-matrix interactions and modified by disease processes, including infection and inflammation. The identification of many bioactive molecules bound within dentine matrix has allowed their potential involvement in regenerative and other tissue responses to be better understood and new opportunities to be recognised for novel clinical therapies.
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