LOMA LINDA, CA — Patients who get root canal treatments at a dentist’s office may have their teeth partially or completely filled with a nontoxic material to prevent reinfection and save their teeth.This is a standard procedure at any dentist’s office anywhere in the world today, but perhaps less known is that a specialist from Loma Linda University School of Dentistry, Dr. Mahmoud Torabinejad, is responsible for developing this advance in dental care at Loma Linda years ago.In fact, Dr. Torabinejad is so prolific in his research and work, and so well respected by his peers, that he has been identified recently in the Journal of Endodontics (JOE) as the “most cited” journal author in an assessment of scientific articles that have exerted the most impact on the field of endodontics. Dr. Torabinejad was the lead author of 12 articles on the top 100 “most cited” list.Largely because of his work, the article in JOE has also identified Loma Linda University as “the most active” institution for producing endodontic articles cited by other researchers in the field of endodontics. Other top-ranked institutions include the University of Umea in Sweden, with nine articles; and University of Zurich and University of North Carolina, with five articles each.“I am interested in saving teeth,” said Dr. Torabinejad, who is professor and director of the Advanced Specialty Education Program in Endodontics at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry. “As a researcher, I am interested in what’s going on in our field so that we can help people take care of their teeth,” he said.Over the years, Dr. Torabinejad, who grew up in Iran and received his dental degree from University of Tehran, has performed research that led to major breakthroughs in the field. Nearly two decades ago, he developed a special substance called Mineral Trioxide Aggregate, or MTA, to replace the mercury and lead-laden amalgam then used for root canal surgery. He also developed an irrigant to wash away bacteria and debris from an infected root canal, replacing potentially dangerous household bleach that had been used until then. He has also conducted numerous studies to help reduce inflammation and pain, which have led to new standards in dental care.Dr. Torabinejad said the camaraderie and support he receives at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry and around the world allows him to pursue research of great interest. He currently works on research that could help lead to the regeneration of tissues inside the tooth. He credits his success to his hero, his mother, Besharat Torabirad, who recently passed away, for teaching her five sons “to be responsible and useful to the community.”Since it opened in 1953, Loma Linda University School of Dentistry (LLUSD) has sought to inspire and graduate oral health-care professionals who combine the highest level of technical, clinical excellence as well as a continual concern for the total well being of each patient consistent with its motto: “Service is our calling.” LLUSD offers the doctor of dental surgery degree; bachelor and associate of science degrees in dental hygiene; and advanced specialty education programs in dental anesthesiology, endodontics, implant dentistry, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, and prosthodontics.