Therapeutic ultrasound for dental tissue repair

Ben Scheven, Richard Shelton, Paul Cooper, Anthony Walmsley, Anthony Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

20 Citations (Scopus)


Dental disease affects human health and the quality of life of millions worldwide. Tooth decay (caries) and diseases of the dental pulp result in loss of tooth vitality and function requiring invasive treatment to restore the tooth to health. "Therapeutic" low intensity pulsed ultrasound has been shown to accelerate bone fracture healing indicating that ultrasound may be used as a tool to facilitate hard tissue regeneration. We have shown recently that low frequency ultrasound is able to exert biological effects on odontoblast-like cells. In this paper, we postulate that low frequency, low intensity ultrasound may stimulate endogenous coronal tooth repair by stimulating dentine formation from existing odontoblasts or by activating dental pulp stem cells to differentiate into new reparative dentine-producing cells. Ultrasound therapy promoting dentine formation and repair may also have the potential benefit of alleviating dentine hypersensitivity by inducing occlusion of dentinal tubules. It is envisaged that therapeutic ultrasound may be used in future to facilitate dental tissue engineering and stem cell therapy applications for dental tissue regeneration. Further research is warranted in this clinically important area and we envisage that novel strategies in dental therapy will be realised that may ultimately lead to the development of novel non-invasive, multifunctional ultrasound devices for dental diagnostics, repair and regeneration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-3
Number of pages3
JournalMedical Hypotheses
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009


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