Continuous replacement of teeth throughout the lifespan of an individual is possibly basal for most of the vertebrates including fish and reptiles; however, mammals generally have a limited capacity of tooth renewal. The ability to induce cellular differentiation in adults to replace lost or damaged cells in mammals, or to tissue-engineer organs in vitro, has hence become one of the major goals of regenerative medicine. In this article, we will revisit some of the important signals and tissue interactions that regulate mammalian tooth development, and will offer a synopsis of the latest progress in tooth regeneration and repair via molecular and engineering approaches. It is hoped that this article will not only offer an overview of recent technologies in tooth regeneration and repair but will also stimulate more interdisciplinary research in this field to turn the pursuit of tooth regeneration and repair into practical reality.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank Liwen Li for her help on an earlier version of this manuscript. This work was supported by a grant of the Korean Health Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (A101578) and by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Korean government (MEST) (No. 2011-0027790).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology