Is Cloning Teeth On The Dental Horizon?
If you’re one of millions of Americans who are missing one or more teeth the normal solution is a dental implant. It’s the quickest, safest way to restore your smile and return to your normal habits.
But what if you could clone a new tooth? It would be your tooth, not a false one, and would be grown naturally. Sounds pretty interesting doesn’t it?
Dental researchers at Nova Scotia University are using stem cells found in teeth in an attempt to clone them. Stem cells are different from normal cells as they can transform into other cells, organs or tissue. They also divide more quickly than average cells so can rapidly assume their new form.
The NSU researchers planted stem cells on tissue engineering scaffolds made from the same polymer material as surgical structures which give mechanical support and can manage the tissues size and shape. Once the cells are firmly attached to the scaffold growth factors are added that guide the stem cells to produce the type of tissue desired. This control will allow the researchers to engineer new tooth tissues and eventually create fully functional replacement teeth.
Researchers are working on a regeneration kit that will allow dentists to deliver stem cell therapies to replace dead tissue. Dental stem cells are also being collected at many dental offices and saved for future health problems.
There is also the possibility that they can be used for diabetes research or for growing other organs. The evidence is promising and who knows, someday you may just grow your own healthy teeth.
At Wagner Oral Surgery we take teeth seriously but we also take our patient’s comfort seriously as well. So whether you need new dental implants, wisdom teeth removal, bone grafts or any other oral surgery, Dr. Wagner and his staff are dedicated to providing the best care possible.
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