Nearly 70 percent of adults age 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth. Despite advances in dentistry, that trend only gets worse as we age.
One expert estimates that by age 74, more than a quarter of all Americans will have lost a significant amount of their permanent teeth.
What if there was a way to replace your teeth without using dental implants? That futuristic idea may be coming to a dentist's office near you.
More on this story from abc7 News in Los Angeles
- Dentures are the past, dental implants are the present -- could the future be teeth grown from stem cells?
- People really care about their teeth and they really care once those teeth are gone.
- To grow teeth, researchers isolate stem cells from the mouth or bone marrow.
- The cells are multiplied in the lab, then grown on 3-dimensional scaffolds.
- Stem cells are then attached to an actual tooth.
- Animal studies that have been done so far are very encouraging, so it looks like the clinical trials will be successful.
- The teeth can be grown in the lab and implanted in the patient or they could actually grow inside the patient's mouth, filling in empty spaces with new teeth in just a few months.
- This will be, in the future, the standard of care for dentistry, to use stem cell therapy to regrow teeth or parts of teeth.
- Growing replacement teeth from stem cells will pave the way for growing other complete replacement body parts.