Published on May 15, 2013
"Bioteeth" grown from a person's own stem cells look to be a promising future alternative to dental implants...and they look to even be superior!
Professor Paul Sharpe published his findings in the Journal of Dental Research. He says the epithlial stem cells would come from the patient's own gum and be combined with tooth-forming embryonic stem cells of mice.
The cells are them implanted into mice and grow into hybrid teeth that would look and function as a normal adult tooth.
Bioteeth are still in the research stage, but would you want one? Lindsay Godin is not just The Young Turks billion views winner, but she's also a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Minnesota, and has grown tissue in a lab.
Replacing missing teeth with new bioengineered teeth, grown from stem cells generated from a person's own gum cells, is a future method that could be superior to the currently used implant technology, but for now not all required pieces are in place.
New research, published in the Journal of Dental Research and led by Professor Paul Sharpe, an expert in craniofacial development and stem cell biology at King's College London's Dental Institute, describes an important preliminary step towards the development of this method by sourcing the required cells from a patient's own gum.
Research towards producing bioengineered teeth, also called bioteeth, aims to grow new and natural teeth by employing stem cell technology which generates immature teeth (teeth primordia) that mimic those in the embryo. These can be transplanted as small cell pellets into the adult jaw to develop into functional teeth, given the right circumstances, programming and assembly -- all of that difficult to master and not even tested yet -- the researchers say.
Remarkably, despite the very different environments, embryonic teeth primordia were found to develop normally in the adult mouth. Embryonic tooth primordia cells can readily form immature teeth following dissociation into single cell populations and subsequent recombination, but until now the available sources of these cells were impractical to use in a general therapy.
Learn more about stem cells, dental stem cells and how you can preserve them now for when you need them later!