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When faced with tooth loss, replacement is critical. For years, the only options for replacing teeth were a bridge or dentures. In more recent decades, the development of dental implants has revolutionized tooth replacement by providing you with an option that not only restores the functions of your teeth, but that preserves the integrity of your jawbone as well. Most recently, new research is being done into other ways to deal with tooth loss, with a significant amount of interest being placed on stem cells. Optimum Oral Surgery Group has the latest on these incredible developments.
What are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are a class of cells that can self-renew as well as generate complex tissues. They can differentiate into specialized cell types. Stem cells are found in two main sources, embryonic stem cells, which are formed during the blastocyst phase, and adult stem cells, which can be found in individuals of all ages. Adult stem cells can self-renew indefinitely. They can generate some different cell types found in the organ in which they originated from, and can even regenerate an entire organ.
How Can Stem Cells Regenerate Teeth?
Today, there is research into the use of stem cells to regenerate whole teeth. While in the early stages, the findings are quite promising. In a recent study, it was found that dental stem cells isolated from tooth pulp, primary teeth, and the periodontal ligaments can differentiate into pulp, cement, dentin, and periodontal ligaments. Research at Columbia University Medical Center has found that with the use of a specialized scaffold, a new, anatomically correct tooth can be grown in just nine weeks. Other research at Tufts School of Dental Medicine has gone so far as to implant lab-grown teeth into the jaw of a pig. They found that these lab-grown teeth further developed into adult teeth in just a few months.
The Benefits of Stem Cell Implants
The benefits of stem cell implants can provide some different benefits that no other tooth replacement treatments can provide. These benefits include:
Could Stem Cell Implants Become the New Preferred Treatment?
Even though there are already several options for tooth replacement following tooth loss, each type of restoration has its disadvantages. Bridges, for instance, require alterations to adjacent teeth and need to be changed every few years to accommodate a changing jawbone. Dentures also require changing every few years. They are also known for being uncomfortable and tedious to care for. Even dental implants, the currently preferred method of replacement, have a few disadvantages. Implants can be expensive, and they require surgery and a lengthy recovery. Stem cell dental implants can provide solutions to all of these disadvantages, providing you with a permanent, comfortable, completely natural tooth at a lower cost to you.
The amount of research being poured into stem cell dental implants means that it could be only a matter of time before they become the new treatment of choice following tooth loss. For more information on this incredible development, call Optimum Oral Surgery Group at (856) 437-4432 today.