The term research refers to a systematic inquiry that seeks to investigate new forms of hypotheses, comes up with the latest interpretations of texts or data, as well as poses previously unasked questions for future researchers to explore and come up with solutions. Any research activity usually consists of asking a question that no other individual has previously asked; conducting the necessary activities that are geared towards finding the answer to the stated queries; and finally communicating the new knowledge that you have come across to a greater audience that consists of students or stake holders in the particular field (Giannobile, Genco & Burt, 2010).
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Dental public health research has grown in importance over the years. Increased research in the U.S. helps the country in its mission to advance the science and art of dental hygiene. It should also be noted that facilitation of developments of the latest clinical techniques, materials as well as treatment modalities has had a significant effect on the public’s access to education as well as high quality dental care (Giannobile, Genco & Burt, 2010). This in turn helps to reduce the occurrence of dental illness within a particular community. Improved research also guides dental practitioners in arriving at decisions that are firmly backed by knowledge that has been obtained from clinical or research experiences. Research activities are the main channels through which medical scholars acquire data that supports the numerous educational goals of the profession. This kind of data also comes in handy when the government is formulating policies that touch on the dental health industry (Giannobile, Genco & Burt, 2010).
Stem cell use in dentistry has contributed immensely to the field of dental public health. The importance of stem cell research cannot be understated. Stem cells have the ability to self-renew thus offering better strategies to regenerate missing dental tissues and treat various forms of diseases (Egusa, Sonoyama, Nishimura, Atsuta & Akiyama, 2012). In the dentistry field, adult stromal/mesenchymal stems or MSC have been identified in various maxillofacial and oral tissues. This discovery suggests that these particular oral tissues are a good source of the required stem cells. Oral mucosal and stem cells can provide an ideal source for human genetically reprogrammed cells such as the iPS or the genetically reprogrammed cells (Egusa et al., 2012).
Human oral tissue is expected to not only be a source but at the same time an important therapeutic target for useful stem cells. Tissue engineering therapy in dentistry continues to attract a growing medical interest. Authors Hiroshi Egusa and colleagues penned a recent peer reviewed article that touched on this topic (Egusa et al., 2012). The title of the article is Stem Cells in dentistry and it was published in the Journal of Prosthodontic research. The authors assert that tissue engineering is the next frontier when it comes to the regeneration of defective/missing oral organs and tissues (Egusa et al., 2012). They offer examples that touch on the alveolar bone. Various degrees of this particular bone’s resorption occur after tooth extraction/loss due to periodontal disease, root fractures as well as severe caries (Egusa et al., 2012). In this regard, tissue engineering, as well as stem cell therapies help provide a futuristic capability to regenerate the present defects that are visible in the periodontal tissues (Egusa et al., 2012).
Egusa H., Sonoyama W., Nishimura M., Atsuta I., & Akiyama K. (2012). Stem Cells in Dentistry- Part I: Stem Cell Sources. Journal of Prosthodontic Research, 56(3), 151- 165. Web.
Giannobile, W. V., Genco, R. J., & Burt, B. A. (2010). Clinical research in oral health. Ames,Iowa: Wiley-Blackwell.