Bangalore: A novel "regenerative" technique to repair infected teeth -- claimed to be painless and cheaper than the traditional root canal treatment -- has been developed by doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.
Termed as "SealBio", the technique uses body's own stem cells and eliminates the need for cumbersome root canal fillings.
Developed by doctors Naseem Shah and Ajay Logani at the Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, it has obtained an Australian patent, while an application with the US Patents office is under process.
Root canal treatment demands rigorous training, clinical skills and several cumbersome sittings with dentist. It involves thorough cleaning and shaping followed by filling of the entire root canal with one of several sealer cements.
The AIIMS technique is claimed to be the first that dispenses with the need for root canal filling.
Instead of filling the root canal with artificial materials that may pose bio-compatibility problems, it makes use of regenerative potential of stem cells and growth factors available at the root of the teeth. Stem cells act as a repair system for the body capable of replenishing adult tissues.
In case of this technique, the stem cells at the root of the decayed teeth are stimulated to induce regeneration and deposition of a natural tissue barrier (seal) to fill up the root canal in just one sitting.
In other words, a "biological seal" is achieved at the root canal rather than attempting to seal it with artificial filling materials with all its drawbacks, the doctors say.
The root canal is restored to health by gradual build up of tissue by stem cells over a period, extending from a few weeks to some months.
The AIIMS doctors say that this treatment simplifies the whole procedure with minimal use of equipment, less time and cost of treatment.
"Shah has been able to successfully carry out this new procedure in dozens of patients and the 4-5 years follow up results have been very encouraging," Seyed Hasnain, a professor at the Kusuma School of Biological Sciences of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, told IANS on phone.
"In my opinion this is a path breaking innovation, a game changer," Hasnain said.
He said that the success achieved by AIIMS doctors could trigger research in regenerative techniques in other clinical situations in dental science.