Advances in dental medicine are the reason for many sparkling smiles today. From alleviating toothache to tooth replacement, dental implants, and many other procedures, dental treatments not only ensure a great appearance but also the ability to enjoy food and maintain nutrition.
Those who are negligent of dental care end up leaving a tooth problem until it is too late and end up losing a tooth.
Some of the most common reasons for tooth loss are decay and gum diseases. While conventionally, procedures included dental bridges or dentures for replacing missing teeth, dental implants are one of the latest innovations. However, recently there is a new trend of stem cell teeth implants that are going to transform tooth replacement procedures forever.
Recent advances in stem cell research have shown that soon dental implants will face stiff competition from stem cell teeth implants. But what are stem cell teeth implants?
All about Stem Cell Teeth Implants
Human beings typically get two sets of teeth in their entire lifetime. Deciduous teeth or baby teeth are the ones that we lose in childhood. These are replaced by our adult teeth that have to last us for the rest of our lives.
Some other animal species such as sharks have the natural ability to grow teeth back in a matter of a few weeks.
This has given scientists the idea of using stem cells to grow new teeth naturally in adult humans.
Natural teeth are likely to have many benefits over dental implants. It is believed that a procedure that involves stem cells will provide a far more affordable and accessible tooth replacement option to patients soon.
How scientists can grow teeth from stem cells?
Our body has different types of cell systems. However, babies, when they are born, aren’t equipped with all the necessary cell types and it is stem cells that help generate different organs and systems that make the human body.
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the ability to adapt to any cell type in your body.
Stem cells are found in most tissues of the human body and they help to create and replenish the body. These are usually buried deep, often sparse, and hidden among cells that look similar.
Our teeth also hold a reservoir of such stem cells that are found both in baby teeth and adult teeth. Luckily for us, these cells can fully replicate themselves. This means it is possible to grow new teeth from stem cells.
A common challenge when inserting any stem cells in the body as the body’s immune response may reject them. Dental stem cells have many other applications and use in the field of medical science because they are compatible with the body’s immune system. One of the most useful applications of dental stem cells is to replace teeth.
Scientists have already used this in animal models
At King’s College in London, scientists have already grown teeth successfully. The research team combined human gum tissue and stem cells from mice teeth.
Many other studies have been trialed to successfully use teeth regeneration using stem cells in animals.
In fact, at Columbia University one study took it to the next level. Researchers were able to direct stem cells to create a 3-D scaffold. The results show anatomically perfect teeth can be grown in about 9 weeks.
What type of stem cells are used for dental regeneration?
Mesenchymal stem cells are the ones that are self-renewable and considered ideal for dental tissue.
How to grow new teeth naturally?
However, to use stem cells successfully, there are some criteria. Only a healthy pulp has viable stem cells. The pulp can be considered healthy if the tooth has an intact blood supply, is free of infection, caries, and other infections.
It is ideal to recover stem cells when patients are young and healthy and store them in a stem cell bank for use at a later stage.
The following are the benefits of stem cell implants
- Affordable and less invasive
- Ease of use.
The bio tooth is a reality of the future. The factors that determine the feasibility of extraction include healthy teeth with healthy pulp, deciduous teeth, and third molars between the age of 16 and 20.
The ultimate aim of dental medicine is to have a method to biologically replace the lost teeth. A cell-based implant instead of a metal one. For a biological implant, the key requirements are roots, periodontal ligament, and blood supply.
In summary, it is fair to say that stem cells are the future of tooth regeneration and they will help personalize dental treatment to a large extent. They are not only useful in teeth regeneration but also in the treatment of teeth injuries and damage.
Will we be able to see a future where teeth will be able to repair themselves? That future is not far.