The exquisite regenerative potential of the dentine-pulp complex provides an important defence wound-healing role for the dental tissues after injury. However, the diversity of such regenerative responses questions the traditional paradigm that all such responses are specifically dentinogenic in nature. Possible variations in stem/progenitor cells and the molecular signalling processes directing these regenerative responses may contribute to a spectrum of responses ranging in nature from specifically dentinogenic to a less-specific mineralised tissue type of response. Understanding of the features of these diverse regenerative responses may allow their exploitation in the development of future novel clinical therapies.
Keywords: dentine, pulp, regeneration, stem cells, cell signalling