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Where Is Dentistry in Stem Cell Regeneration and Repair?

May 1, 2013
by Jeffrey W. Linden, DMD, M.MED.SC, FACD


If you ever traded in your baby teeth to the tooth fairy and got a mere 50 cents under your pillow – you got short-changed. The National Institute of Health recently discovered that mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow have been found to exist in teeth. This discovery will transform Dentistry and the future of Medical treatments.

Stem cells have the unique capacity for self-renewal and potency. With biochemical signals that have yet to be fully understood, the stem cell can differentiate into functioning desirable cells. The goal of Regenerative Medicine is to restore function to damaged organs and tissues. Dentistry has long embraced restoration of tissue and organ function. An example of Dental Regeneration is the dental implant only recently incorporating closure with stem cell based soft tissue. Stem cells found in teeth harvested during routine dental visits are cryopreserved and appear to replicate at a higher rate than those from other parts of the body. The earlier in life the stem cells are harvested, the greater the potential for regeneration – making them invaluable later in life. The teeth need to be cavity-free without infection and with an intact blood supply. This points to the primary incisor and canine. Wisdom teeth between the ages of 18 and 20 are also good candidates because the pulp is large, increasing the potential for viable stem cells making these and permanent teeth for future use in regenerative medical therapies.

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The cells also produce a host of beneficial neurotropic factors such as glial cell lined neurotropic factor, nerve growth, and brain derived neurotropic factor, potentially promoting the survival of brain neurons lost in neuro degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. Injecting dental stem cells into the basal ganglia can potentially provide neurotropic support for dying nerve cells and replacement of dead cells. Neurotropic factors play a key role in the functioning of the nervous system.

Cells extracted from dental pulp have proven to be more successfully banked and preserved than those from other sources in the body. By comparison they are more available and accessible as anticipated regenerative medical breakthroughs occur.OH


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1 Comment » for Where Is Dentistry in Stem Cell Regeneration and Repair?
  1. I am plastic intolerant owing to MCS/Multiple Chemical Sensitivity disorder. I was poisoned on BPA laced dental material/ Conquest, as a result of an unesecesary whole mouth dental reconstruction that involved crowning all of my teeth!!!. I developed cancer shortly after the reconstruction. I suffer from MCS/ multiple chemical sensitivity. I regained my health, however lost many teeth. Dentures are off limits owing to plastic intolerance. I await stem cell tooth regeneration, as it is my only hope.

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