Aim To investigate dental pulp healing after tooth replantation in rats using nestin as an odontoblastic marker for immunohistochemical analysis. Methodology Twenty-five maxillary right first molars from 25 female Sprague-Dawley rats, aged 4weeks post-natally, were extracted and immediately repositioned in the original socket within 5s. Five rats each were later killed on days 3, 5 and weeks 1, 2 and 4. The maxillae were removed en bloc and the tissue samples containing the maxillary right first molars were decalcified, sectioned, mounted and stained with anti-nestin antibody to be observed under a light microscope. Results At 3days after replantation, there was a localized inflammatory reaction, but pulp revascularization and healing had begun in the root area. At 5days after replantation, odontoblast-like cells were observed. Reparative dentine deposition was observed beneath the pulp-dentine border from 1week after replantation, and gradually increased until 2weeks after replantation. The presence of odontoblast-like cells and the formation of reparative dentine continued from the first week throughout the experimental period. At week four, deposition of osteodentine and cementum-like tissues were observed. Conclusions Pulpal mineralization after replantation initially occurred via the deposition of reparative dentine, followed by the deposition of osteodentine and cementum-like tissues in rat teeth.
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