Mesenchymal stem cells in periodontics: new perspectives

ABSTRACT Tissue engineering is a contemporary field of science, which aims to create conditions based on principles of cell and molecular biology, bioengineering and biomaterials to regenerate tissues. Mesenchymal stem cells present high proliferation rates and are able to differentiate into multilineages under certain conditions, suggesting that they have great potential to act in regeneration field. Tooth derived stem cells are a suitable alternative source of mesenchymal cells once they are easily accessible and have poor morbidity to the donor. Studies showed that they have been isolated and characterized from diverse tissues such as dental pulp, exfoliated deciduous teeth, periodontal ligament, gingiva, dental follicle and apical papilla. However studies show that there is heterogeneity among these populations and there is no standard method to select the most appropriate tooth derived stem cells for regenerative procedures. The aim of this review is to present the current perspective of the multiple types of tooth-derived stem cells and to discuss the basis for their use in periodontal tissue engineering.