Stem Cells from Baby Teeth Being Used to Re-grow Teeth
Stem cell research is an exciting field in today’s world. There is also exciting news about how it may relate to dental treatment for damaged teeth in children.
Clinical Trial Involving Stem Cell Research at the University of Pennsylvania
According to Science Daily, recent research revealed that using stem cells from children’s baby teeth enabled children with “dead tooth” injuries to regain sensation. They had living teeth again.
Prior to this point, dental treatment could not replace damaged tissue. The standard treatment, called apexification, was a type of pulp therapy. It encouraged tooth development but didn’t replace damaged tissue.
A team of researchers extracted stem cells from the patient’s baby teeth. They began Phase I of the trial in China. Forty children who had injured one of their incisor teeth and who also still had baby teeth participated in the trial. Researchers cultivated cell reproduction from extracted stem cell in a laboratory. Afterward they implanted the cells into the injured tooth. The implanted tissue resulted in more signs of healthy root development. They increased blood flow and thickened dentin (the part of the tooth below the enamel surface).
Patients also regained sensation in their teeth. Previously they had experienced little sensation in the damaged tooth. There were also no immune system safety concerns with the transplant. Using the patient’s own stem cells provided a reduced likelihood of immune rejection.
Later on, one patient reinjured a tooth. Because extraction was necessary, the researchers had the opportunity to examine the tooth. They discovered by that the implanted stem cells had regenerated cells. These cells produced dentin, connective tissue and blood vessels.
Stem Cell Research for Adults with Damaged Teeth
Because adults no longer have baby teeth, these types of stem cells are not available to test on adults with dead teeth. However, the team is beginning to research the use of stem cells donated by another person. They are testing to see if they can regenerate dental tissue in adults.
If you have concerns about your dental care, our dentists at Hutto Hippo Family Dental are glad to answer your questions.