The Department of Pulp Biology and Endodontics provides research, education and patient care on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of dental pulp and periapical diseases. In order to preserve and well maintain the function of the teeth in the oral cavity, it is important to understand the structural and functional features of the dental pulp and protect this tissue carefully from noxious stimuli. However, pulp diseases, if left untreated, may progress to develop pulp necrosis and apical periodontitis, where meticulous treatment is required to eliminate infection from the complex root canal system. The goal of endodontics is to achieve long term maintenance of tooth function by the prevention and treatment of pulpal and periapical diseases.
1. Biology of dentin/pulp complex and dental pulp tissue regeneration
・Establishment of an experimental model of rat dental pulp tissue engineering using mesenchymal stem cells
・Immunohistochemical and gene expression analysis of stem-cell-associated markers in rat dental pulp
・Expression and function of transient receptor potential channels in dental pulp cells
・Involvement of hypoxia inducible factor I (HIF1) in the pulpal inflammation
・Effects BCL9 signaling on osteo-/odontoblastic differentiation of dental pulp stem cells
2. Root canal irrigation
・Evaluation of efficacy- and safety-related properties of laser-activated root canal irrigation
3. Evaluation of newly developed endodontic sealers and pulp capping materials
・Anti-inflammatory effects of mineral trioxide aggregate
・Cytotocompatibility of an experimental sealer containing surface reaction type pre-reacted glassionomer (S-PRG) to osteoblastic cells
・Evaluation of strontium ranerate as a direct pulp capping material
・Development of new tricalcium silicate-based endodontic materials
4. Nickel-titanium rotary root canal instrumentation
・Cleaning and shaping ability of Gentlefile, HyFlex EDM, and ProTaper Next instruments: a combined micro–computed tomographic and scanning electron microscopic study.
・Cyclic fatigue resistance of rotary and reciprocating nickel-titanium instruments subjected to static and dynamic tests.
・Comparative evaluation of mechanical properties and shaping performance of heat-treated nickel titanium rotary instruments used in the single-length technique.
5. Endodontic diagnosis
・Detection of periapical bone defects and vertical root fracture with cone beam computed tomography
6. Dental pulp injury-induced gene expression in the central nervous system
・Alteration of pain-associated gene expression in the thalamus following dental pulp stimulation in rats
The educational aim of the Department of Pulp Biology and Endodontics is to cultivate students so that they can obtain knowledge and skills required for leading scientists, researchers or practitioners of endodontics. Since recent progress of pulp biology and endodontics is remarkable, the students are educated to acquire the newest knowledge on modern endodontology and its related subjects, such as neuroscience, microbiology, molecular biology, immunology and biomaterial sciences, and are trained to master the newest technology of endodontics. All the students are asked to add new findings to the field of endodontics based on their own original research.
Clinical Services & Other Works
The Department of Pulp Biology and Endodontics is in charge of the Clinic of Operative Dentistry and Endodontics in our Dental Hospital, together with the Department of Cariology & Operative Dentistry, and offers the global standard of care in the treatment of pulpal and periapical diseases to our patients. We provide clinical care in the full spectrum of endodontics including;
· Vital pulp therapy,
· Nonsurgical root canal therapy,
· Root canal retreatment,
· Endodontic microsurgery,
· Internal tooth bleaching, and
· Post-endodontic restoration.
The latest development of endodontics is remarkable as seen in root canal instrumentation with super-elastic Ni-Ti rotary files, diagnosis with cone beam computed tomography, and microendodontics by using a surgical operating microscope. In particular, microendodontics has dramatically changed conventional “blind” endodontics into more predictable endodontics since it allows us to obtain accurate diagnostic information and provide precise procedures under an illuminated and magnified view. Also, we seek to provide evidence-based endodontic treatment based on our laboratory and clinical research.