Jul 20, 2019 | Updated: 08:51 AM EDT

A New Dental Procedure Could Eliminate Tooth Loss

Apr 22, 2019 07:58 AM EDT


Tooth loss is a concern that most people will face at some point in their life. According to studies, by the age of 74, 26 percent of adults will have lost all of their permanent teeth. Dentures are sufficient, but they're uncomfortable and dental implants can fail and have no ability to "remodel" as the surrounding jaw bone changes with age.

All of these are reasons why some people have placed their hope in stem cell research. While there are controversy surrounds the new medical method such as the use and destruction of human embryos, not all research involves human tissue and has the potential to change a lot of lives.

A new technique being tested in the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory of Dr. Jeremy Mao, Edward V. Zegarelli prof of odontology, and a professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia University, could make "tooth loss" a thing of the past. The cluster believes they need to find some ways to own the body's stem cells, migrate it to a three-dimensional scaffold manufactured from natural material and insert it to a patient's mouth.

Once the stem cells have settled the scaffold, a tooth can grow in the socket and then merge with the surrounding tissue. Essentially, they believe that they could build a tooth much like you build a structure, but with your body proving the bricks. The result? A new anatomically correct tooth in as very little as 9 weeks.
The experiment is explained as follows:

"In every of twenty-two rats, they implanted an incisor scaffold orthotopically in mandibular incisor extraction pockets and a human molar scaffold ectopically in the dorsum. They then infused the scaffolds' microchannels with 2 growth factors. They also implanted growth-factor-free control scaffolds. After 9 weeks, they found that periodontal ligament-like fibrous tissue and new bone regenerated where the rat incisor scaffolds interfaced with native alveolar bone. The human molar scaffolds showed integration and tissue ingrowth. Researchers also found that the growth factors recruited significantly more endogenous cells and led to greater angiogenesis than did the growth-factor-free control scaffolds."

"These findings represent the primary report of regeneration of anatomically formed tooth-like structures in vivo, and by cell homing without cell delivery," Dr.Mao stated."The efficiency of cell orienting is supported not solely by cell enlisting into scaffold microchannels however additionally by regeneration of a supposed dentistry ligaments freshly fashioned alveolar bone."

As for now, dental implants are the best as it gets at replacing teeth. They consist of a cone-shaped titanium screw with a roughened or smooth surface and are placed in the jaw bone. The problem with dental implants? Healing times vary widely from person to person, and require trips to multiple professionals, taking about 18 months in all.

"A key thought in tooth regeneration is finding a cheap approach which will translate into therapies for patients United Nations agency cannot afford or United Nations agency are not sensible candidates for dental implants," Dr.Mao said."Cell-homing-based tooth regeneration could give a tangible pathway toward clinical translation."

The research shows that prior needs to grow teeth in a petri dish, which uses stem cells from other sources, are not necessary and could lead to faster recovery time and a tooth that's far less likely to fall out.

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