Massive breakthrough in dentistry.
Dentists have found a way to grow entirely new teeth using stem cell research, for the first time in history.
The new discovery is thought to be able to replace dental implants – a false tooth or teeth to fill gaps in the mouth where teeth have either died or had to be pulled.
It was the work of Jeremy Mao of Colombia University and his team who made the discovery.
Mao says that the process was done by taking stem cells from the patients own body and creating a ‘scaffold’ like structure with them. The new tooth then independently grew around the the empty casing.
The tooth was observed to have gelled well with its environment, and had merged with surrounding tissues well enough for the dentists to be confident that this will be a successful was of replacing implants.
The team managed to grow a fully formed tooth in the space of just nine weeks.
The current treatments for broken and missing teeth are quite temperamental, the procedures are expensive, painful and worst of all they have a habit of not working.
Currently if a patient needs a tooth implant, they are given an implant made from synthetic materials which the dentist will screw into the mouth often using metal screws.
The biocompatability between the mouth and the false tooth often doesn’t match up, meaning the mouth will reject the tooth leaving the patient back at square one.
Failed dental implants can cause a whole range of health problems from pain in the mouth and infection, to blood and even heart diseases.
Stem cell research is providing medical science with many answers to previously unsolved problems. It has been used for everything from treating paralyzed people to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes, and now – teeth.