Dentists Predict That Root Canals May Cease To Exist

( — The American Dental Association’s Forsyth scientists are testing a new technology using resolvins that could make root canals a thing of the past.

A new study published in The Journal of Dental Research described a new method to more effectively treat endodontic diseases with the regenerative properties of Resolvin E1 (RvE1) on dental pulp.

Resolvins are a class of specialized proresolving mediators, a class of molecules naturally produced by the body that are effective in controlling excess inflammation from endodontic disease.

Pulpitis is an inflammation of the dental pulp, a common oral health disease typically treated through a root canal procedure.

According to Dr. Thomas Van Dyke of the ADA Forsyth’s Center for Clinical and Translational Research, the senior scientist on the study, while root canals are effective, they create problems of their own since the procedure removes significant portions of dentin, which can cause the tooth to dry out, leading to an increased risk of fracturing.

Van Dyke said the goal of the study was to develop a method for regenerating the pulp rather than “filling the root canal with inert material.”

The Forsyth scientists applied RvE1 to different levels of infected pulp to determine its anti-inflammatory and regenerative capacities.

The study reached two significant findings. First, RvE1 is very effective at promoting regeneration if used in direct pulp-capping of living pulp. Second, while RvE1 placed on exposed or severely infected pulp did not facilitate regeneration, it was effective at slowing down the rate of inflection and treating the inflammation, which prevented the abscesses that usually occur.

According to Dr. Van Dyke, while the study focused only on treating endodontic disease, the potential impact is much more far-reaching since the application of RvE1 to pulp also promotes the formation of the “type of stem cells” that can “differentiate” into bone, cartilage, fat, or teeth.

In short, Van Dyke explained, the treatment could be used to facilitate bone growth in other parts of the body.

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