We are excited to offer you series of mini articles related to oral health and what everyone is ought to know about new vistas developing in this field. Here we offer interviews with one of the most prominent Naples dentists, Dr. Val Daniyar, specializing in what is now being coined as regenerative dentistry.
Dr. Daniyar, what is regenerative dentistry?
A few years ago I have defined this term and presented it to the dental community in an attempt to describe this newly emerging sub-discipline. It appears that the definition remains accurate today and puts regenerative dentistry as a complex of research and clinical procedures related and designed to restore (“regenerate”) oral cavity and its surrounding area tissue that has been lost to a disease, trauma or aging process. This relates both to lost tissue anatomy on macro and micro levels, as well as proper functions. The regenerative dentistry as part of regenerative medicine in general is based on natural ability of body cells and tissues to restore themselves under certain conditions. Thanks to rapidly developing research in this area we now being able to understand more and more about how our body is capable repairing itself and what we as doctors can do to help to ignite and sustain this process. One of the most publicized aspects of regenerative medicine, for example, is stem cells, but of course this field is far broader.
What is the most common clinical application of regenerative dentistry today?
The most common one at this point most likely would be the art and science of dental implantology and everything that is related to it. You see, the very core of dental implantology is all about challenging nature by restoring what turned out to be one of the most vulnerable organ of human body – our teeth. Though we cannot re-grow them (not yet, I might say) the way Mother Nature and Creator have made them, we managed to introduce a very well-working alternative that is in some way has its own advantages to natural teeth. I am talking about dental implants. Started out few decades ago from a simple titanium fixture capable of integrating, or fusing that is, with human bone dental implants emerged into a field that spawned a whole new medical discipline and most importantly new way of approaching dental rehabilitation while departing from a traditional way of restoring lost teeth that we practiced for decades if not hundreds of years (remember George Washington’s wood teeth?) in a form of dentures and dental bridges. The supporting science immediately followed: further engineering of implant geometry and ways of re-creating the bone to allow implants to be placed. Though the latter one may be closer associated with definition of regenerative dentistry, overall dental implantology is in fact can be rightfully considered part of regenerative medicine. Even if implants are not necessarily identical to natural teeth or in other words they are not grown from our own cells (once again, not yet) they offer closest to natural replacement of our own teeth and on the top of that they preserve and stimulate natural tissue growth by many mechanisms, one of them being restoration of normal anatomy and function.
To be continued…