Background: The concept of transferring genes to tissues for clinical applications has been discussed for nearly half a century. The exponential increase in our ability to manipulate the genetic material of a cell via recombinant DNA technology has brought this goal closer to realization. The original perception that gene therapy should be considered only for a few major organs as a means of treating life-threatening disorders that are refractory to conventional treatment has changed. There are many non-life-threatening conditions that adversely affect a patient's quality of life, for which there are no effective treatments. The lack of suitable treatment has permitted morbidity to become a rational basis for extending the scope of gene therapy. In the past few years, remarkable progress has been made in the field of gene therapy. While considerable problems remain, thus impeding the routine clinical use of gene transfer, gene therapy will have a pervasive and significant impact on areas that are based on biological science.
Aim: The purpose of this review is to examine the progress made in addressing gene transfer strategies for correcting various diseases and problems that are relevant to dental practice.
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