Dr. Hanna here!
I recently read about something fascinating, and I wanted to share it with you! As a Gilbert cosmetic and restorative dentist, I was fascinated by a recent article about stem cells and their role in dentistry. Have you heard of stem cells? If you haven’t (or need a brief refresher), don’t worry- I’ll fill you in. If you have, feel free to skip down the page a little bit.
About Stem Cells
Stem cells have taken the world by storm ever since the first clinical trials took place in the 1990s. These cells have been considered valuable since their discovery because they have a few features that make them special. Stem cells are able to reproduce nearly infinite times. They’re also able to change into many other types of cells (e.g., fat cells, cartilage cells, bone cells, etc.). Your body can use stem cells to fill in when and where it needs a specific type of cell. In fact, when a baby is developing, many of their cells are initially stem cells.
Pretty cool, right?
It gets better. In the last decade or so, over 100 studies have concluded that stem cells can stay alive in your TEETH too, especially your baby and wisdom teeth (Read more here). This was a such a massive discovery that the finding even made the national news (Read Full Article)! Most stem cell deposits are buried under the body’s surface and are often found few and far between. In contrast, dental stem cells are easy to access and replicate much faster than other types of stem cells. Dental stem cells are special because the tooth works like a safe that keeps all the stem cells safe inside! Dental stem cell extraction the easiest alternative for stem cell recovery. Especially compared to stem cell extraction from other places like bone marrow- OUCH!
While there are a lot of potential applications for stem cells to help people with Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and heart disease, I prefer to focus on what I know best: teeth! I can use stem cells to help your gums and teeth recover from periodontal decay or after a surgery. While the extraction process is still difficult, researchers are developing new methods that maximize the number of stem cells we can get from a tooth (Learn More). Currently, dental research is exploring the potential for these stem cells to regenerate full teeth!
You might be asking yourself, “So what does this all mean for me?”
I’ll tell you!
Stem cells have shown enormous potential for the field of regenerative medicine. Before finding out stem cells were in teeth, most dentists would throw the extracted teeth away or give them to their patients to keep. Doctors and individuals still throw away their extracted teeth even now that this information is out! There are companies that work with your dentist to extract your stem cells and keep them safe until you may need them for a treatment. The best part: age is not a major factor as long as the tooth is healthy. Younger stem cells have been shown to provide more benefits than older stem cells, so don’t wait!
As your neighborhood dentist, I wanted to share the latest and greatest about what’s going on in the dental field with YOU. While some people may find the concept a little strange, I think it’s important to try and understand the cutting edge of research, so we can best prepare ourselves for the future! As your Gilbert dentist, I stay up to date on the best treatments, so my clients know they’re in the very best hands. I encourage you to do the same in your profession!