Learn about stem cell tooth regeneration advancements

If a child is playing a sport and gets hit in the mouth with a ball causing a fractured tooth, the current treatment for regenerative endodontics is apexification. Kenneth Hargreaves, DDS, PhD, chair of Endodontics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, says the success rate of this procedure for immature teeth is around 77 percent, but that there is an increasingly popular procedure that creates nearly a 100 percent success rate at saving the tooth.

Employing postnatal stem cells through concepts of tissue engineering may seem far-fetched to some, but in the world of endodontics, Hargreaves says there is more and more evidence that it should be the go-to option for an immature tooth that has infected pulp from trauma, a development anomaly or caries.

"Using stem cells to continue root growth and development is something a lot of people are excited about. These cases typically have such a poor prognosis with conventional treatment, and we have a unique opportunity to treat teeth at an immature development stage. This may end up transferring to regular adults as well, not just immature teeth of children," said Hargreaves, who also is a diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics, has published 150 papers and edited two textbooks, and is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Endodontics. "Although much remains to be done to advance this field, progress has been made in clinical regenerative endodontic procedures, literally saving teeth by regenerating natural tooth development."

Hargreaves will be lecturing about regenerative endodontics at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim on Thursday, May 12. The lecture will describe the current status and treatment protocols of regenerative endodontic procedures.

According to Hargreaves, the clinical outcomes of successful regenerative endodontic procedures include continued root development and stronger and positive pulp testing results. Attendees of his lecture will learn about these outcomes as well as the three major steps in tissue engineering and clinical principles needed for regenerative endodontic procedures.

"We want them to have enough information about how this process works so they can understand it and the steps and protocol. My philosophy is to give them the rationale for each step," Hargreaves said.

CDA Presents is a dentist's ticket to up-to-date clinical and technological advancements, an extensive exhibit hall — hosting as many as 600 companies — C.E. opportunities, networking and fun. The CDA Presents team scouts national dental meetings to create a speaker circuit unlike any other. The convention is the best way to stay on the cutting edge of dentistry.

For more information and to register for this course and others, visit cdapresents.com.

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The CDA Presents Board of Managers strives to provide attendees the information they need to make sure their business runs smoothly and their patients receive the best care possible. That is why they have added a unique new opportunity to obtain a laser certification at the May 12-14 CDA Presents convention in Anaheim.