About this Research Topic
Sequential and reciprocal interactions between oral epithelial and cranial neural crest-derived mesenchymal cells give rise to the teeth and periodontium. Teeth are vital organs containing a rich number of blood vessels and nerve fibres within the dental pulp and periodontium. Teeth are composed by unique and specific collagenous (dentin, fibrillar cementum) and non-collagenous (enamel) highly mineralized extracellular matrices. Alveolar bone is another collagenous hard tissue that supports tooth stability and function through its close interaction with the periodontal ligament. Dental hard tissues are often damaged after infection or traumatic injuries that lead to the partial or complete destruction of the functional dental and supportive tissues. Well-established protocols are routinely used in dental clinics for the restoration or replacement of the damaged tooth and alveolar bone areas. Recent progress in the fields of cell biology, tissue engineering, and nanotechnology offers promising opportunities to repair damaged or missing dental tissues. Indeed, pulp and periodontal tissue regeneration is progressing rapidly with the application of stem cells, biodegradable scaffolds, and growth factors. Furthermore, methods that enable partial dental hard tissue repair and regeneration are being evaluated with variable degrees of success. However, these cell-based therapies are still incipient and many issues need to be addressed before any clinical application. The understanding of tooth and periodontal tissues formation would be beneficial for improving regenerative attempts in dental clinics.
This research topic will be aimed to elucidate the following issues:
1) Cellular and molecular mechanisms of dental and periodontal tissues development and regeneration/repair.
2) Current approaches and modern methodologies to investigate the formation of dental tissues and, in particular, the role of various non-collagenous proteins and enzymes, which are believed to regulate mineralization processes and hydroxyapatite crystal formation.
3) Emerging treatments aiming at repairing the injured structures and function of tooth and surrounding tissues.
4) Recent strategies using stem/progenitor cells for enamel, pulp, dentin, periodontal ligament, cementum and alveolar bone regeneration.
For the above mentioned topics, we encourage the submission of original research reports, review articles, commentaries, perspectives or short communications.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.