Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Medicine

First Committee Member

Ronald R. Lemon

Second Committee Member

James Mah

Third Committee Member

Clifford Seran

Fourth Committee Member

Karl Kingsley

Fifth Committee Member

Brendan O'Toole

Number of Pages




Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) research is a contemporary topic in modern healthcare. These cells have the ability to divide and generate progeny, which then become committed to specific and distinctive end-stage phenotypes, such as cartilage or bone (Caplan 1991). MSCs have been isolated from a variety of tissues such as the umbilical cord, bone marrow, adipose tissue (Ding, Shyu & Lin 2011) and dental pulp (Takeda et al 2008). Although dental pulp is a viable source for MSCs, peer reviewed research has given limited attention to its retrieval process through intentional tooth splitting of extracted teeth. The purpose of this study is to design a process that will split teeth to access the dental root canal.


This study incorporated a novel experimental design in order to assess whether scoring a healthy premolar tooth would facilitate both a predictable split, as well as provide access to the dental root canal. The extracted tooth was scored to a guided depth of 1.0mm on the mesial and distal surfaces along the length of the entire tooth. A tensile force was exerted on the apical surface of the tooth root until the tooth split. The split segments along with any retrievable fixed dental pulp were displayed for a photograph. The scored and split teeth were classified based on specified criteria. These criteria are important as access to the dental pulp will ultimately lead to harvesting mesenchymal stem cells. The teeth were also graded and classified according to whether the root canal was visible in both split segments.


Of the twenty five consecutively scored and split teeth in the experiment, 92% of the total sample split predictably and matched the theoretical control group. In spite of some undesired fragmented pieces, 100% of the data set shows visible access to the root canal.


The evidence shown in this research paper clearly demonstrates that teeth can be scored and predictably split. In addition, splitting teeth can predictably provide access to the dental root canal. These efforts may prove to be a good start to study dental pulp tissue and ultimately MSCs. This research paper provides a minimally invasive technique that can provide a feasible alternative to the current methods of accessing the dental root canal, which usually involve crushing the tooth and drilling or cutting through the tooth to retrieve pieces of the dental pulp tissue.


Cryogenic; Dental pulp; Dental pulp cavity; Endodontics; Mesenchymal; Mesenchymal stem cells; Pluripotent; Regenerate; Stem; Teeth – Roots


Dentistry | Endodontics and Endodontology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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