We take great pride in delivering world-class dentistry to you, your family and our local community through leading edge science and technology combined with the highest standards of care. With this in mind, we have begun informing our patients about the future medical potential of the stem cells contained in teeth that are coming out.
Advances in Regenerative Medicine focus on the use of stem cells to heal tissue damaged through injury, disease, aging or congenital defect. Teeth have been determined to be a rich source of these cells. Patients losing teeth, either baby teeth or extracted adult teeth, have been choosing to preserve (bank) those stem cells for their personal use in the future. These would not only be for use in the mouth, but potentially for use in many tissues throughout the body.
For decades, doctors have harnessed the unique ability of stem cells to treat leukemia and genetic blood diseases. But now, researchers are discovering that these cells have the power to heal, to fight disease, and to regenerate damaged or aging tissue throughout the body. To fully understand why they hold the potential to change your child’s medical future, get to know more about stem cells.
Ordinary cells in your body replicate to make new cells of the same type – blood cells make more blood cells, skin cells make more skins cells and so on. However, there is another type of cell, called a stem cell.
Stem cells are able to repair or replace damaged tissue. This is why scientists and doctors are so excited about the growing role of stem cells to treat disease, injury, and the deterioration of tissue due to aging. Amazingly, after our birth and into adulthood, we keep a store of these stem cells in certain parts of our body.
Different types of stem cells exist in different body tissues, and in varying concentrations. One of the most well-understood and widely researched types of stem cells is the mesenchymal stem cell.
Mesenchymal stem cells can form tissues such as bone, nerve, muscle, and blood vessels. They also help body tissue to repair itself, and they play an important role in healing by suppressing inflammation.
Though located in a number of places in the body, mesenchymal stem cells can be found in especially high concentrations in the healthy dental pulp of teeth.
Over time, even stem cells succumb to the environmental “insults” that age all of our cells. Freezing cells in a youthful state preserves their future ability to generate replacement tissue and heal the body.
All of these attributes make stem cells the cornerstone of the emerging field of treatments and therapies called Regenerative Medicine.
Mesenchymal stem cells have already proven to be a powerful and potent platform for developing treatments. As you are reading this, scientists are studying the role of these amazing cells in treating conditions such as type 1 diabetes, spinal cord injury, stroke, myocardial infarction (heart attack), corneal damage and neurological diseases like Parkinson’s, to name just a few.
Hundreds of clinical trials are underway, demonstrating the use of mesenchymal stem cells to treat diseases, to heal injuries, and to grow replacement tissues like bone, nerve, muscle, and blood vessels. In fact, mesenchymal stem cells are currently being tested clinically to treat autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s and GVHD as well as in regenerative applications like bone and cartilage repair and cardiac muscle repair after myocardial infarction.
This exploding field of research, called Regenerative Medicine, holds the promise that your child, utilizing a toolkit of their own stem cells harvested and stored early on, will live a life of unprecedented wellness. Regenerative medical therapies could become common treatments used alongside more traditional ones.
Imagine a future where serious conditions like type 1 diabetes are treated with a combination of drugs and regenerative medicine. Imagine skin and bone grafts created from the patient’s own cells. Imagine treating age-related conditions like arthritis, dementia, and Alzheimer’s using cells from the patient’s teeth that were banked when they were young.
Want to dig deeper into emerging therapies using mesenchymal stem cells?
To learn more visit www.store-a-tooth.com, or call (877) 867-5753 to speak with a client educator.