Stem Cells and the Dental Pulp: Potential Roles in Tissue Regeneration

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Colleges, School and Institutes


The dentine-pulp complex displays exquisite regenerative potential in response to injury. The postnatal dental pulp contains a variety of potential progenitor/stem cells, which may participate in dental regeneration. A population of multipotent mesenchymal progenitor cells known as dental pulp stem cells with high proliferative potential for self-renewal has been described and may be important to the regenerative capacity of the tissue. The nature of the progenitor/stem cell populations in the pulp is of importance in understanding their potentialities and development of isolation or recruitment strategies, and allowing exploitation of their use in regeneration and tissue engineering. Various strategies will be required to ensure not only effective isolation of these cells, but also controlled signalling of their differentiation and regulation of secretory behaviour. Characterization of these cells and determination of their potentialities in terms of specificity of regenerative response will form the foundation for development of new clinical treatment modalities, whether involving directed recruitment of the cells and seeding of stem cells at sites of injury for regeneration or use of the stem cells with appropriate scaffolds for tissue engineering solutions. Such approaches will provide an innovative and novel biologically based new generation of clinical treatments for dental disease.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-157
Number of pages7
JournalOral Diseases
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2007


  • regeneration, stem cells, cell signalling, pulp, dentine