The regenerative potential of the periodontal ligament

J Prosthet Dent. 1986 Feb;55(2):260-5. doi: 10.1016/0022-3913(86)90357-4.


The current decline in the incidence of dental caries indicates that patients will retain most of their dentition. Reconstruction or regeneration of the entire attachment apparatus, including the periodontal ligament, cementum, and bone, is an attainable therapeutic goal. Clinical treatments designed to reattach connective tissue to exposed root surfaces commonly result in the formation of a long junctional epithelial attachment. This attachment is probably not an effective barrier to bacterial toxins and may allow recurrent pocket formation. To enhance reattachment of connective tissue, root-conditioning agents have been used but their clinical efficacy is questionable. Restoration of destroyed alveolar supporting bone by means of allogenic and autogenous bone-grafting materials has been recommended, but these procedures do not restore the cementum and PDL. Attempts to promote regeneration of the entire attachment apparatus have included clinical studies that used mechanical means to promote repopulation of affected root surfaces by periodontal ligament fibroblasts and prevent contact of epithelial or gingival connective tissue cells. Results thus far have been encouraging, but the practicality of these techniques may be limited. However, these studies have demonstrated that if only PDL cells contact the root surface during healing, a normal PDL can re-form. Dental follicle tissue is capable of inducing the formation of cementum-like structures and is clearly the cell population responsible for cementum and PDL formation. Recent research has demonstrated that the dental papilla probably shares the same inductive capabilities as the dental follicle.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dental Papilla / physiology
  • Dental Papilla / surgery
  • Dental Sac / physiology
  • Dental Sac / surgery
  • Dental Scaling
  • Epithelium / physiology
  • Gingiva / physiology
  • Humans
  • Periodontal Diseases / pathology
  • Periodontal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Periodontal Diseases / therapy*
  • Periodontal Ligament / pathology
  • Periodontal Ligament / physiology*
  • Periodontal Ligament / physiopathology
  • Recurrence
  • Regeneration*
  • Tooth Root / surgery
  • Wound Healing