Research conducted in Columbia University Medical Center’s Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory and published in the Journal of Dental Research cites a new technique pioneered by the authors that can orchestrate the body’s own stem cells to regenerate teeth. “These findings represent the first report of regeneration of anatomically shaped tooth-like structures in vivo by cell homing,” Dr. Jeremy Mao and his colleagues state in the paper. By homing stem cells, Dr. Mao and his colleagues have potentially created an alternative to the prevailing model of replacing lost teeth, dental implants. Their work shows that a tooth can be grown “orthotopically,” or in the tooth socket. The result is that the tooth can integrate with surrounding tissue in ways that are impossible for dental implants, which use hard metals or other materials.
“The breakthrough work of Dr. Mao and his colleagues is indicative of the paradigm shift taking place in the field of dentistry that is being driven by stem cells and regenerative medicine,” said Art Greco, CEO of StemSave, Inc, a company in the field of stem cell recovery and cryopreservation. “With the assistance of their dentist, individuals are taking advantage of the powerful stem cells that exist in teeth by recovering them as part of routine dental procedures and banking them for future use in stem cell based therapies.”
(Source: StemSave, Inc, news release, May 17, 2010)