Journal of Conservative Dentistry
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 10-14

Nonclinical research areas of future importance for clinical therapies: Exploring the concepts of nonlinearity in dentistry

1 Department of Endodontics, Texas A&M College of Dentistry, Dallas, TX, USA
2 Division of Endodontics, Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, New York, NY, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Poorya Jalali
Department of Endodontics, Texas A&M College of Dentistry, 3302 Gaston Ave, Dallas, TX 75246
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcd.jcd_640_20

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Linear system analysis has been dominating medical and dental research, and most of the research achievements in these fields have come from applying a reductionist view of nature. However, biologic systems are fundamentally nonlinear with highly composite dynamics made up of numerous interacting elements and feedback loops, therefore studying them as linear models may not result in an accurate representation of their true features. The authors reviewed and utilized some of the principles of chaos and nonlinearity and extended them to clinical dentistry, from cracked tooth and flare-up after root canal procedures to the outcome of clinical treatments. Utilization of the concepts of chaos and sensitive dependence on initial conditions, and the concepts of self-organization, stigmergy, and fractals may help us to understand some of the puzzles that have not been solved by conventional linear models. The goal of this paper is to present some areas within nonclinical research that we believe will have important roles in the development of future clinical examination methods and therapies.

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