A new three-dimensional (3-D) printing-inspired process which may help engineer artificial blood vessels for teeth has been developed by the medical researchers. This novel technique can help create better and long term outcomes for patients suffering from infected or decayed teeth. The research has been carried out by experts from the United States.
The new process is now more effective than the primeval root canal procedure which causes the teeth to become brittle and more prone to fracture as the time proceeds, the researchers concluded.
"Root canal eliminates the tooth's blood and nerve supply, rendering it lifeless and void of any biological response or defence mechanism, without which adult teeth may be lost much sooner, which can result in the need for dentures or dental implants," said lead investigator Luiz Bertassoni, Assistant Professor at the Oregon Health and Science University in the US.
The team used a fibre mould made of sugar molecules across the root canal of extracted human teeth and injected a gel-like material which mimics the proteins found in the body, filled with dental pulp cells. This new process was published in the Journal Scientific Reports. Then they removed the fibre to make a long micro-channel in the root and placed endothelial cells extracted from the interior lining of blood vessels.
After a week, dentin producing cells were generated near the tooth walls and artificial blood vessels were formed inside the tooth.
"This result proves that fabrication of artificial blood vessels can be a highly effective strategy for fully regenerating the function of teeth," Bertassoni said.
"We believe that this finding may change the way that root canal treatments are done in the future," Bertassoni added.