Last week we had the pleasure of attending the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter conference. There were over30,000 dental professionals and over 600 exhibitor companies. This event was our opportunity, via a Press Conference, to officially announce the launch of our Store-A-Tooth service to the U.S. dental community.
During the press conference we focused on the convergence of 3 themes and how this convergence will have a transforming impact on the oral health professional. The three themes are:
1. The rapid acceleration of stem cell science & the promise of regenerative medicine
Every day, we are learning about new research on how stem cells from our own body are being used to differentiate into new cell types, and how these cells are being applied to various dental and medical conditions. There are currently over 3,900 stem cell clinical trials currently. Stem cells are being studied for applications ranging from treating cancer, to multiple sclerosis, to stroke. And dental stem cells, specifically, are being studied for diabetes, spinal cord injuries and dental applications, such as jaw bone and teeth regeneration.
2. The changing healthcare consumer
Consumers are taking a more active role in their healthcare decisions than ever before. We are seeing changes in the way consumers view their clinicians, their insurers, and ultimately their healthcare choices. Healthcare consumers are asking more questions – they are educated, knowledgeable and searching for answers. Healthcare purchasing decisions are more and more being made not through the lens of someone managing an entire population’s health, but individually, through the eyes of a mom, a spouse, an adult child.
We’ve surveyed over 1,300 parents. What we learned is that they are interested in stem cells and their potential use, and are more knowledgeable about stem cells than we would have ever guessed – especially when it comes to stem cell research as it relates to any medical conditions in their family. However, very few parents had any idea about stem cells in teeth. Most wanted to know more, and over 90% felt they should learn about it while at the dentist’s office.
3. The desire of the dental community to expand their role in the healthcare of their patients
We’ve spoken to thousands of dental professionals, and consistently we hear their interest in seeking big, transforming change and growth in their field – a desire to broaden their role from traditional dental services to being 21st century oral healthcare providers.
With these forces converging – stem cell research and stem cell therapies accelerating, consumers more actively seeking information about stem cells and regenerative medicine, and the discovery of stem cells in teeth – the dental community may have found what it is seeking: an opportunity to engage their patients on how stem cells from teeth may be relevant for the overall health of their family.
Store-A-Tooth works closely with dental professionals to make it simple to inform their patients – so they now have a choice about what to do with the valuable stem cells inside their extracted or exfoliating teeth.