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International Journal of Dentistry
Volume 2010, Article ID 856087, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/856087
Review Article

Vital Pulp Therapy—Current Progress of Dental Pulp Regeneration and Revascularization

Division of Craniofacial and Molecular Genetics, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Tufts University, 136 Harrison Avenue, Room M824, Boston, MA 02111, USA

Received 2 July 2009; Revised 14 December 2009; Accepted 10 February 2010

Academic Editor: Thomas E. Van Dyke

Copyright © 2010 Weibo Zhang and Pamela C. Yelick. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Pulp vitality is extremely important for the tooth viability, since it provides nutrition and acts as biosensor to detect pathogenic stimuli. In the dental clinic, most dental pulp infections are irreversible due to its anatomical position and organization. It is difficult for the body to eliminate the infection, which subsequently persists and worsens. The widely used strategy currently in the clinic is to partly or fully remove the contaminated pulp tissue, and fill and seal the void space with synthetic material. Over time, the pulpless tooth, now lacking proper blood supply and nervous system, becomes more vulnerable to injury. Recently, potential for successful pulp regeneration and revascularization therapies is increasing due to accumulated knowledge of stem cells, especially dental pulp stem cells. This paper will review current progress and feasible strategies for dental pulp regeneration and revascularization.