When considering the negative effects of root canal surgery, researchers looked for an alternative that would cause less physical pain to patients and not weaken the teeth by taking out needed material during the process.
To do this, scientists from the University of Nottingham and Harvard tested a regenerative tooth filling that uses stem cells in the teeth to heal naturally. By using this "new type of synthetic biomaterial," the growth of tissue is stimulated by the stem cells which work to repair any tooth decay damage. As root canal surgery requires nerve tissue and blood vessels to be removed and replaced with cement, the end result means that blood no longer flows to the tooth -- which is what makes it weaker and more susceptible to future problems. With the regenerative fillings, scientists hope to offer a solution to the whole painful procedure.