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Volume 9 (2009), Pages 1167-1177
Review Article

Dental Tissue — New Source for Stem Cells

University of Nis School of Medicine, 18000 Nis, Serbia

Received 28 July 2009; Revised 24 September 2009; Accepted 24 September 2009

Academic Editor: David L. Tannahill

Copyright © 2009 Vladimir Petrovic and Vladisav Stefanovic.


Stem cells have been isolated from many tissues and organs, including dental tissue. Five types of dental stem cells have been established: dental pulp stem cells, stem cells from exfoliated deciduous teeth, stem cells from apical papilla, periodontal ligament stem cells, and dental follicle progenitor cells. The main characteristics of dental stem cells are their potential for multilineage differentiation and self-renewal capacity. Dental stem cells can differentiate into odontoblasts, adipocytes, neuronal-like cells, glial cells, osteoblasts, chondrocytes, melanocytes, myotubes, and endothelial cells. Possible application of these cells in various fields of medicine makes them good candidates for future research as a new, powerful tool for therapy. Although the possible use of these cells in therapeutic purposes and tooth tissue engineering is still in the beginning stages, the results are promising. The efforts made in the research of dental stem cells have clarified many mechanisms underlying the biological processes in which these cells are involved. This review will focus on the new findings in the field of dental stem cell research and on their potential use in the therapy of various disorders.