Traditionally, when an immature tooth suffers root damage, we perform an apexification to harden the root end and close the canal. While effective, apexification also means that the tooth’s root will not continue to develop. A new procedure, regenerative endodontics, might be available as an alternative. With regenerative endodontics, we instead revive or regenerate the tooth’s natural tissue so the root can continue growing.
Regenerative endodontics uses the concept of tissue engineering to restore the canals to a healthy state. The benefits of this method include continued root development and strengthened hard tissues to prevent potential fractures. Though tissue regeneration procedures are still in their infancy, studies suggest that “dead,” immature teeth are capable of regenerating pulp-like tissues that foster root development.