London, July 1 (IANS) Calling it the next big treatment era in dentistry, scientists have advanced towards a treatment in which root canal therapy could bring diseased teeth back to life -- rather than leaving a dead tooth in the mouth.
Researchers from Inserm (Instituts thématiques - Institut national de la santé et), France, describe a nano-sized dental film that shows promise for achieving this long-sought goal.
Nadia Benkirane-Jessel of Inserm and colleagues note that root canal procedures help prevent tooth loss in millions of people each year.
During the procedure, a dentist removes the painful, inflamed pulp, soft tissue inside the diseased tooth.
Regenerative endodontics, the development and delivery of tissues to replace diseased or damaged dental pulp, has the potential to provide a revolutionary alternative to pulp removal.
Scientists are reporting development of a multilayered, nano-sized film - only 1/50,000th the thickness of a human hair - containing a substance that could help regenerate dental pulp.
Previous studies show that the substance, called alpha-MSH, has anti-inflammatory properties.
Scientists have shown in lab tests that alpha-MSH combined with a widely-used polymer produces a material that fights inflammation in dental pulp fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are the cells found in dental pulp, says a release of the American Chemical Society (ACS)
Nano-films containing alpha-MSH also increased the number of these cells. This could help revitalize damaged teeth and reduce the need for a root canal procedure, the scientists suggest.
These findings were reported in the monthly journal ACS Nano.