Each year, dentists in the United States perform more than 15 million root canals on infected teeth, removing the inflamed pulp and filling the emptied canal with inert materials such as rubber and cement. What remains is a mineral shell in place of a living tooth. “Teeth lacking dental pulp are more vulnerable to cracking and can respond poorly to future bacterial infections and mechanical injuries. In particular, we’d prefer to avoid killing and removing a child’s permanent tooth that is still growing, but instead, help the roots thicken and lengthen,” said Vivek Kumar, a bioengineer at NJIT. To read the full story.