The University of Michigan School of Dentistry
Dr. Chiego is involved with innervation of the pulp. This is of particular interest because of the variety of its roles in development, growth, pain, inflammation/immunity and repair. These roles occur in most peripheral tissues but in the dental pulp they are concentrated in a well defined anatomical area. Pain and the response to injury are of considerable clinical interest for understanding pulpal injury and improvements in pulpal repair may offer a simpler and less expensive option than either root canal therapy or tooth extraction. Dr. Chiego is also studying central mechanisms of salivation and how specific autonomic nerves innervating the nucleus of the solitary tract and the inferior salivatory nucleus interact within the brainstem. He is also involved in comparing the temporal sequence of gene expression (inflammatory mediators and growth factors) found in periapical granulomas and cysts using gene arrays, histopathology and digital radiography which will progress to an animal study to resolve these lesions using nanotechnology.