“One can expect little progress from narrow, stereotyped thinking that fails to intelligently appraise and utilize the potential of improved treatment methods”
Dr. Nor of the University of Michigan was invited this year as our keynote speaker. He presented his current work on dental pulp tissue engineering. He started his talk with a very important question: How can we learn from nature? First we need to learn from nature and only then can we apply this in regenerative therapies to recreate the beautiful, complex organs that are the teeth. Regenerative therapies that include biomimetic and biocompatible materials will change the future of dental materials. Can we take stem cells and replace necrotic pulpal tissue? Can pulp regeneration allow root completion of immature dentition? These are questions clinicians and researchers are trying to address.
Tissue engineering in dentistry is not a new story, he says. Calcium hydroxide was used in 1928 as an inductive biomaterial and was able to induce the formation of new dentin. Gene based therapies with BMP7 may also increase the formation of dentin bridges.
Of the many experiments Dr. Nor presented, he demonstrated that clinicians and researchers that dare to ask the questions can find new therapies and new discoveries that can be used to better treat our patients.