As an Atlanta dental malpractice lawyer, I constantly monitor new developments in the field of dentistry and dental pain management. Chronic dental pain because of nerve or joint disorders can be debilitating for many patients. Researchers at Boston University School of Dental Medicine have now found that stem cell therapy can help substantially reduce such dental pain.
The researchers used mesenchymal stem cells derived from the bone marrow in order to treat dental pain in lab rats. In order to stimulate pain in the rats, the Boston University researchers used two types of techniques. They tied up the masticatory muscle tendon to deliver musculoskeletal pain, and tied up the facial nerve in order to deliver neuropathic pain. The stem cells were either injected into the area, or were administered via IV just like anesthesia.
The researchers found that in the rats that received the stem cell therapy, the pain subsided and did not return. However, in a control group of rats that did not receive the stem cell therapy, the pain continued for twenty-two weeks. According to the researchers, they did not find any side effects from the use of the stem cells.
Chronic pain can severely limit a person’s quality of life. Conventional drug therapies may come with serious complications, including side effects, and the possibility that the patient could develop a tolerance to the drug. Surgeries are not always a safe option, and they can be traumatic for patients. Besides, there’s always the chance that a surgery may not be successful, or may leave the patient with even more pain. Stem cell therapy has already been tested successfully for a variety of conditions, which makes me hopeful about the viability of the therapy to treat dental pain too.
The three types of medications most commonly prescribed for nerve pain include:
- Antidepressants or tricyclic antidepressants (TCA’s), such as Amitriptyline and Nortriptiline. The newer selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressant medications (such as Prozac) are not considered as effective for this condition as tricyclic antidepressants.
- Anticonvulsants (also called neuroleptic medications) such as carbamazepine, felbamate, valproic acid, clonazepam, and phenytoin. A newer drug, gabapentin (Neurontin), is also considered effective and is generally well tolerated by most patients
- Local anesthetics, such as intravenous application of lidocaine, tocainide or mexiletine can often provide relief
Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, dental malpractice, bus accidents, car accident cases and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured and would like discuss your case, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.