Bioengineered tooth replacement opens doors to new therapies

August 20, 2018

Alexandria, Va., USA - Tooth loss is a significant health issue currently affecting millions of people worldwide. While artificial dental implants are the existing standard tooth replacement therapy, they do not exhibit many properties of natural teeth and can be associated with complications leading to implant failure. Two articles published in the September 2018 issue of the Journal of Dental Research share recent advances in bioengineering teeth.

In the article "Bioengineered Tooth Buds Exhibit Features of Natural Tooth Buds" Pamela Yelick, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Boston, Mass., USA and co-authors explored new methods to create highly cellularized bioengineered tooth bud constructs that include features that resemble natural tooth buds such as the dental epithelial stem cell niche, enamel knot signaling centers, transient amplifying cells and mineralized dental tissue formation. The constructs were composed of postnatal dental cells encapsulated within a hydrogel material that were implanted subcutaneously into immunocompromised rats.

This is the first report that describes the use of postnatal dental cells to create bioengineered tooth buds that exhibit evidence of these features of natural tooth development, pointing to future bioengineered tooth buds as a promising, clinically relevant tooth replacement therapy.

In the article "Bone Marrow Stromal Cells Promote Innervation of Bioengineered Teeth" Sabine Kuchler-Bopp, French National Institute of Health and Medical Research and Fédération de Médecine Translationnelle de Strasbourg, France, and co-authors developed a strategy where autologous mesenchymal cells coming from bone marrow can be used to supply nerves to bioengineered teeth without treatment that uses an immunosuppressor. The innervation of teeth is essential for their function and protection but does not occur spontaneously after injury. This new method provides innervation while avoiding multiple side effects associated with immunosuppressors.

"These exciting studies point to a promising future for bioengineered teeth," said Journal of Dental Research Editor-in-Chief William V. Giannobile. "This cutting-edge research has the potential to advance tooth replacement therapy and the science base to bring such regenerative medicine treatments to improve clinical care."
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About the Journal of Dental Research

The IADR/AADR Journal of Dental Research (JDR) is a multidisciplinary journal dedicated to the dissemination of new knowledge in all sciences relevant to dentistry and the oral cavity and associated structures in health and disease. With a 5.380 Impact Factor, the JDR ranks #2 in Impact Factor of 91 journals in the "Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Medicine" category and ranks #2 of 91 in Article Influence with a score of 1.546. The JDR continues to rank #1 of 91 journals in Eigenfactor with a score of 0.02095 and the JDR's 5-year Impact Factor remained above 5 for the third year at 5.715, ranking #2 of 91 journals. With over 19,000 citations, the JDR also boasts the most citations in the "Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Medicine" category. This information comes from the 2017 Journal Citation Reports® (Clarivate Analytics, 2018).

About the International and American Associations for Dental Research

The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) is a nonprofit organization with over 11,000 individual members worldwide, dedicated to: (1) advancing research and increasing knowledge for the improvement of oral health worldwide, (2) supporting and representing the oral health research community, and (3) facilitating the communication and application of research findings. To learn more, visit http://www.iadr.org. The American Association for Dental Research (AADR) is the largest Division of IADR, with over 3,400 members in the United States. To learn more, visit http://www.iadr.org/aadr.

International & American Associations for Dental Research

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