It may be hard to imagine a world without root canals, but researchers at the UB School of Dentistry have discovered a breakthrough. Instead of shaving and replacing teeth, they are looking for a way to regrow gums with dental lasers.
According to a report published in 2019 by overall disease burden.
This fact motivated Praveen Arany, Assistant Professor of Oral Biology, who has spent more than 20 years researching dental health, to now find ways to heal wounds and regenerate tissue using lasers in dentistry and beyond.
In his 15 structured courses that involve laser research, including PER 841: Introduction to Lasers in Dentistry, and the informal observations he offers, Arany and his colleagues provide a platform for students to research ways to harnessing lasers to advance medicine and dentistry.
In his labs, students focus on ways to improve clinical outcomes for root canals, diabetes, the aging process, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), injuries, and whatever else students are curious enough to to study.
Arany’s passion for this research came from learning that dental health plays a major role in overall health.
“They keep saying that the mouth is the mirror of your soul, don’t they? To the rest of your body? Aran said. “Dental disease has been shown to cause all sorts of other systemic problems. It makes your diabetes worse. There are new publications showing that it can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and you name it. I mean, there are so many examples of chronic human diseases that have links to the quality of your oral hygiene, and we realize that now.
When it comes to the research of Arany and his colleagues, there are two main goals: finding ways to use lasers to improve current medical procedures and innovating new medical solutions to advance health like never before.
Using lasers to improve current medical procedures
A winning smile can do a lot for the self-confidence of many people. But teeth crack and decay, which can lead to root canal treatment and the replacement of natural teeth – an alternative to root canal treatment would allow patients to keep their real teeth.
Arany and his fellow researchers believe they have found a new solution.
Currently, doctors remove the damaged or infected pulp and place a filling to prevent a root canal. They will then wait three to six months in hopes of being able to heal the tissues, according to Arany.
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Arany and his colleagues would instead use laser processing and then perform smart filling. They envision the process taking two or three treatments in one to two weeks. They would then decide if their treatment worked or if the patient needs a root canal.
Arany treatment is less expensive, especially when taking into account the costs of a crown, a possible implant and the root canal itself.
“It’ll be a little more likely than your usual treatment, but you save all that money, plus you have the benefit of keeping that normal tooth in its place, which you wouldn’t have with all the others,” he said. Arany. .
The new procedure would also work for doctors. As the solution is faster, they would have the potential to see more patients.
The alternative is not yet fully tested. Arany said the research has been very successful in the animals tested, but his researchers have yet to perform a human clinical trial, for which they still need funding.
New innovative medical solutions to advance modern healthcare
Can light make people more resilient?
This is a primary focus area in the research of Arany and his colleague.
And based on their research, the answer to that question is a resounding yes.
Arany and his colleagues have conducted studies that have shown that the right amount of light at the right time can improve an individual’s health.
“Now we know that if you expose yourself to too much sun and tan, especially if you have pale skin, it causes sun damage,” Arany said. “But at the molecular level, the right amount of light can actually reverse this effect, [reversing the aging process]and this is the most exciting part of this research.
Their efforts and breakthroughs don’t stop there.
For example, a Brazilian student in one of the labs is trying to discover a cure for diabetes by using lasers on diabetic lesions.
Khrystyna Adam, a major in biological sciences and a minor in pharmacology and toxicology, is a teaching assistant in some of the courses taught by Arany.
“It’s just crazy to me how when I started there was no knowledge of dental lasers and now in 2022 you see lasers everywhere, like in dental offices,” Adam says. “During COVID-19 [pandemic when] I was working as a dental assistant, my dentist bought a dental laser and she is doing procedures. She has nothing but good things to say about dental lasers.
“I recently started a study with Arany where [we are] use dental lasers to detect tooth decay.
Problems that medical professionals have failed to find a cure for decades, if not centuries, could be solved within the next two years if human clinical trials go well for Arany and his colleagues.
These faculty and students not only study and design the future of medicine, but they find their passions and serve their communities while doing so.
“UB Dental is known for giving back to the community,” Adams said. “Personally, when applying for dental schools, UB Dental is my top choice because they are so well known for their community outreach that they always give back to the Buffalo community.”
AJ Franklin is an Associate Feature Editor and can be contacted at [email protected]