-Right In Your Mouth
One of the most fascinating, though sometimes controversial, advances in medicine is the use of stem cells. As you’ve likely heard, stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can produce an indefinite number of the same type of cells, or become other kinds of cells by differentiation. They have potential applications in every area of medical and health care, including dentistry, as dentists in Columbus are finding.
Imagine being able to regrow missing teeth right in your mouth. Research in stem cell therapy is heading in that direction with a new method of tissue regeneration. Using this method, the body’s stem cells may be directed towards a tooth-shaped scaffold of natural materials. The stem cells colonize the scaffold and the new tooth grows and integrates with the surrounding tissue. This stem cell method uses the body’s own resources to grow, or regenerate, anatomically correct teeth with faster recovery time, all through completely natural processes.
Moreover, something that millions of people have removed every year turns out to be an abundant source of stem cells: wisdom teeth. The wisdom teeth, researchers have found, are often healthy at removal and the root pulp they contain may have cells that can replace those lost to disease or injury. In the average young person’s mouth may be a vital resource for restorative health. Tooth root pulp may contain both pluripotent stem cells, which can become any cell in the organism from which they’re taken; and multipotent stem cells, which can transform into specific kinds of cells. Researchers have actually developed a device called a “tooth cracker” that combines a clamp and a cutting tool to cleave a tooth perfectly in half, granting access to the precious stem cells it contains.
Stem cell therapy uses what the body already has to create more of what it needs. Its applications in dentistry are enough to put a smile on anyone’s face.