Every year four million baby teeth fall out, and 1.4 million wisdom teeth are pulled out. Until recently, the only entity really interested in all those teeth was the tooth fairy. But all that changed in the year 2000, with the discovery that dental pulp contains adult stem cells.
What are stem cells?
Stem cells are considered the body’s “master cells” because they have the ability to create the different types of cells that make up our organs, blood, tissue, and immune system.There are two basic types of stem cells: adult stems cells and embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are produced when a newly fertilized egg begins to divide.
Avoiding Ethical Issues
A stem cell is an immature cell that has the potential to become specialized into different types of cells throughout the body.
One of the challenges of stem cells research has been to appease the ethical and moral controversies surrounding the use of stem cells. These specific concerns are usually related to embryonic and foetal stem cells because the harvesting of such stem cells does with most techniques, result in the destruction of an embryo.
One of the positive aspects using dental pulp stem cell is that these teeth were not extracted simply for the purposes of the study. The teeth were planned for extraction anyway, and would simply have been discarded.
As a source of stem cells, they satisfy the requirements for easy harvesting and ethical concerns. Another benefit is that primary teeth are all lost at some point.
As such, it makes them especially attractive as a source of stem cells, where a person’s own teeth could provide stem cells that help them in the future. It would simply require early planning to ensure that primary teeth are kept and used for stem cell harvesting.
Recent years have shown increased funding from religious groups to adult stem cell research, with the hopes that greater interest in the use of adult stem cells will prompt reduced use of embryonic stem cells.
Dental pulp stem cells: for bone regeneration.
- In 2008, it was reported that Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) have been demonstrated to be ideal for:
- Tissue reconstruction
- Have a long lifespan
- Build ,in vivo, an adult bone
- Exert anti-inflammatory abilities
The easy management of dental pulp stem cells makes them very usable.
Dental pulp stem cells: prevent leading cause of blindness
According to Jul7, 2014 report, researchers at the University Of Birmingham, UK, have discovered that stem cells isolated from the teeth, prevent a leading cause of blindness caused by injury or degenerative diseases.
Dental pulp stem cells have the following potentials:
- Repair damaged cardiac tissue following a heart attack
- Generate nerve and brain tissue
- Repair muscle
- Generate bone
- Generate cartilage
- Generate Bone and tissue from the oral cavity.
- Cure for type 1 diabetes
How to Store dental pulp stem cells
As you know, baby teeth are resorbed gradually before they fall out, so the longer you wait, the less tissue is there. Ideally, when a tooth begins to become loose, the parent would take the child to the dentist and have that tooth pulled. The dentist would place the extracted tooth in a kit that has a sterile buffer to stabilize the tooth and keep it cold in transport. The tooth is shipped overnight to a lab to extract and store the stem cell. Teeth that come out at home, as long as the tooth bleeds when it comes out, are good enough for this purpose.
Banking your child’s stem cells is a decision that varies from family to family. Some people feel that the life-saving possibilities outweigh the cost of small investment. It is like paying for life insurance for your child.
They both pay back at the time of disaster (if any). Except banking your child’s dental stem cells may help your child to stay alive and healthy when needed. The important thing is to weigh the cost and benefit and make the decision that is right for your family.
In dentistry experience and Continuing Education are everything. Dr. Parvin Carter has over 30 years of experience in Practicing General Dentistry and 25 years in Orthodontics. She has thousands of hours of advanced training. In 2000, Academy of General Dentistry awarded Dr. Carter a Certificate of Mastership (MAGD) in General Dentistry. According to the Journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, only 1% of US dentists achieve this high level of advancement. Dr. Carter is a Certified and Preferred Provider of Invisalign. She has successfully treated over 500 patients with Invisalign.For more information please see: www.drparvincarter.com
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