When an adult loses a tooth, it doesn’t bring about the same kind of positive attention as when a child does the same thing. Maybe it’s because grown-ups don’t believe in the tooth fairly. Mostly likely it’s because, unlike children, we won’t be growing a new one.
Modern dental technology can, luckily, step in with solutions, such as tooth implants and dentures. These fabricated tooth-like devices can stand in for a missing or severely cracked tooth and are designed to function well and look like natural teeth. But wouldn’t it be great if we could simply grow new adult teeth as needed? It could happen.
Grow your own tooth, at will
Researchers at the Tufts School of Dental Medicine are trying to help us do just that — using dental stem cells to grow new teeth and jawbone. This break-through science could definitely provide distinct advantages over today’s existing tooth replacement methods, as good as they are. The technique could also be used in the case of severe injury or disease that causes the need for reconstructing the jaw.
Dental stem cells are quite adaptable
In order to develop ways to grow new teeth and bone, researchers start by using dental stem cells, a type of universal cell. Universal cells literally transform into different types of oral tissue, as manipulated. Here’s the amazing process:
- Harvest the stem cells from healthy adult tooth pulp
- Isolate the harvested cells in the lab
- Coax them into forming new tooth buds (these are the tiny clusters of soft tissue that eventually grow into the tooth)
Dental technology continues to be revolutionary
This new dental science will change how we treat damaged or missing teeth. But it’s not treatment that will be in use immediately. Tooth buds are extremely complex, only forming in the exact type of conditions that exist when an embryo is beginning to form jawbone, tooth, soft palate and gums.
Much more work is necessary
All the progress toward growing our own replacement teeth is certainly encouraging, but t’s not time to skip scheduling your tooth implant appointment just yet. So call today: (304) 754-8803.