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Store-A-Tooth™ Dental Stem Cell Banking and Product News

What’s It Like: Harvesting Stem Cells from Bone marrow vs Teeth

Posted by James Andrews on Wed, Jul 11, 2012 @ 09:53 AM

stem cells from teeth vs from bone marrowYou might choose to bank stem cells as a bio-insurance policy in case you need them in the future or they could be a match for a family member should they need them.

Three typically rich sources of adult stem cells are bone marrow, umbilical cord blood and dental pulp (the pulp inside teeth). For the purposes of this blog I'm going to focus on bone marrow and dental pulp since cord blood is most likely out of the picture for most readers if they didn't have it banked at birth.

Why bank stem cells at all?

There are more than 10,000 people each year diagnosed with some form of life-threatening disease, such as leukemia or aplastic anemia.
Chemotherapy and radiation are used to treat cancer to kill off cancer cells that divide quicker than most kinds of health cells. But this treatment can damage bone marrow because bone marrow cells divide frequently.
This is where the transplant comes in. Sometimes the only treatment option or the best option for these patients is a bone-marrow transplant or peripheral blood stem cell transplantation.
These patients must receive the transplant from someone who is a genetic match. This can prove difficult for patients of racial minorities. Usually, a patient will check with their family first to see if they can find a match. However, 70 percent of patients can’t find a match within their families.
At any moment, there are a constant 6,000 patients who are looking for a bone marrow or blood stem cell donation.

Bone Marrow

This is a surgical outpatient procedure performed in a hospital. A doctor typically uses a needle to take liquid marrow from the back of your pelvic bone. Only 1 to 5 percent of your marrow is taken. The marrow should normally replace itself within four to six weeks.

The process can sometimes be painful, with aches lasting anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Other side effects include fatigue, stiffness while walking and bleeding where the marrow was taken.

What are the risk factors?

About 1 percent of donors experience serious issues related to the anesthesia or damage to the bone, nerve or muscle in their hip region.

What’s the recovery time?

The majority of donors report that they feel fully recovered within a few weeks.

What’s the follow-up?

The place where you donate likely will call to check on you soon after you have donated.

Dental pulp from teeth

This is normally a simple procedure performed by a dentist or an oral surgeon depending on the tooth type. A dentist is often the point of extraction for baby teeth and teeth being removed for orthodontia (braces etc.). When wisdom teeth are extracted, an oral surgeon is often the dental professional involved and the difficulty varies on the presentation of the teeth (impacted, not impacted etc.) - in either situation the procedure usually ends there. The teeth are simply placed in a vial or transportation device, ready to be shipped to a lab for processing.

The process is no different to the natural extraction process for those teeth with the one exception being that the teeth aren't discarded as waste. Recovery is typical for a tooth extraction and no additional side effects are to be expected.

What are the risk factors?

None specific to the harvesting of the stem cells since this is done in a laboratory after the routine tooth extraction.

What’s the recovery time?

Recovery time varies with the extraction type performed.

What’s the follow-up?

The laboratory with produce a report outlining quantity, viability and preservation status.

 

Have you had stem cells harvested from your bone marrow or teeth?

  • What was your experience?

Tags: Dental Stem Cells, Research, Healthcare, Regenerative Medicine

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