December 7, 2015
by Dr. Fay Goldstep
What A Wonder Nature Is!
When things go wrong, or require a reboot, there is a plan, a system, a structure to get things back on track. Regeneration is “the natural ability of living organisms to replace worn out parts, or renew damaged or lost parts of the body, or even reconstitute the whole body from a fragment of the organism”. Of course, this is more predictable and effective in less sophisticated organisms such as worms or lizards but it is available in some way to all beings from bacteria to humans.
Regeneration is a powerful force of renewal and restoration that promotes growth and makes all cells, beings and ecosystems resilient to the expected and unexpected fluctuations and events that occur over time in nature.
Ecosystems thrive on regeneration! Following a disturbance such as a fire in a forest, different species will compete for space and establish themselves in the newly opened habitat. This new growth is often stronger and hardier than the original.
Regenerative medicine is a branch of science that is exploring the possibility of revitalizing damaged tissues and organs by stimulating the body’s own regenerative mechanisms to functionally heal previously hopeless tissues or organs through the use of stem cells and other undifferentiated tissue.
In dentistry, guided tissue regeneration has been in use for several decades to direct the growth of new bone and gingival tissue.
When regeneration is incomplete and does not fully restore function, it is simply repair, an inferior form of healing. To promote true regeneration, the clinician is required to guide the process by creating the environment for optimal outcomes.
There are many examples of harnessing bioactivity and regeneration for clinical practice within the pages of this journal, both in the restorative and periodontal areas to help us understand the beneficial powers of these healing processes.
The first step is knowledge; the second is implementation. The first may be manageable; the second is more challenging.
Rebooting is essential in oral health as it is in day-to-day life. This is evident both in our clinical practices and in our lives. Some thoughts as we greet the New Year…
We can take some lessons from nature: regenerate, restore, reanimate, revive, rejuvenate, renew, revitalize, reboot, refresh in 2016…..do NOT just repair!
It is possible! Take the time to reassess your individual situation. Understand it thoroughly. Do all that you can to create an optimal life environment. Be aware of your limitations. Recognize the things that you cannot change. Accept them. And then let them go. Let things happen. Give regeneration a chance.
Dr. Fay Goldstep has lectured nationally and internationally on Proactive/Minimal Intervention Dentistry, Soft-Tissue Lasers, Electronic Caries Detection, Healing Dentistry and Innovations in Hygiene. She has been a contributing author to four textbooks and has published more than 60 articles. She sits on the editorial board of Oral Health. Dentistry Today has listed her as one of the leaders in continuing education since 2002. Dr. Goldstep is a consultant to a number of dental companies, and maintains a private practice in Markham, Ontario. She can be reached at email@example.com.