Since mesenchymal stem cells have been identified in dental pulp, recreating dental pulp now seems possible and this is an actual revolution in endodontic therapeutics. The concept of dental tissue engineering is based on the use of these stem cells, isolated, sorted out and multiplied in Petri dishes in order to recreate the missing dental tissue. Cells are associated to a matrix which provides a three-dimensional environment reproducing in vivo conditions for adhesion and growth. The “matrix + cells” complex is then implanted to trigger the regeneration process. However, recreating connective tissue that must be innervated and vascularized, capable of producing dentin while providing homeostasis and restoring dental sensory properties, remains a complicated task. This challenge also involves biological and clinical barriers inherent to the use of stem cells. Teams from all over the world have been developing and assessing new in vitro protocols in animals and very recently in humans.
All these data are the promise of a radical and imminent change in dental pulp therapeutics.