Why Storing Stem Cells In Your Teeth
It might surprise you to learn that our teeth are fantastic sources of stem cell banking. This is due to the fact that it is easy to collect baby teeth and wisdom teeth since a baby tooth will fall out naturally in all children and the wisdom tooth is commonly extracted from young adults. These teeth are an especially good source for mesenchymal stem cells, which have shown tremendous potential for repairing bodily tissues. The next time you are at your Beverly Hills dentist or Los Angels dentist, ask them about how you can participate in banking dental stem cells. If you are looking for a Los Angels dentist or Beverly Hills dentist who can extract a tooth for banking, please stop by Smile Angels of Beverly Hills to learn more.
How Do Stem Cells Benefit Us?
Stem cells are human cells that have restorative properties which provide effective treatment options for individuals with various and often chronic diseases. According to Stem Save, stem cells are able to create and regenerate specific cells. Stem cells in teeth are easily accessible, so if you or your family member ever suffer a serious disease or injury, these stem cells can be used to create medical treatments specifically geared toward you and your family.
Starting in the 1970s, scientists have used stem cells taken by extraction from bone marrow to treat major blood and bone marrow diseases and Leukemia (cancer found in blood and bone marrow). Traditionally, extracting stem cells from blood or bone marrow involves grueling processes. Stem cell extraction from bone marrow requires an invasive surgery while extracting stem cells from the blood requires the patient to take strong drugs, then the blood gets filtered. Only healthy individuals qualify for either of these procedures since they are the least at risk for slow or problematic recoveries.
After decades of extensive stem cell research, researchers now tend to agree that using dental stem cells is a far better source than bone marrow or blood-extracted stem cells. These stem cells are far easier to access since adult teeth (like wisdom teeth) and baby teeth often fall out or are extracted for various dental reasons.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Teeth
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are typically found in bone marrow but are located elsewhere in the body and differentiate into other cells, including muscle, skin, cartilage, bone, tendons, and adipocytes. MSCs are exceptionally abundant in dental tissues. The reason these cells can be saved is that they are cells that can potentially be used in the engineering of dental tissue, bone regeneration, and nerve regeneration.
Additional research shows that MSCs can be used in the formation of disease- and patient-specific stem cells. Overall, dental stem cells are an ideal source for MSCs since they are multipotent, highly accessible, and have high proliferation rates.
Why Bank Tooth Stem Cells?
As previously stated, stem cells found in teeth are easier to acquire. Extracting them does not require an invasive surgery or filtration of the blood. Also, you do not necessarily have to qualify as a healthy patient. Most teeth are discarded after removal or loss, but saving them through companies like Stem Save can benefit you and your family in the future.
Most of the time, it is impossible for us to predict what will happen to us and our loved ones in the future. Injuries are extremely unpredictable, and many diseases manifest later into adulthood. With stem cell banking of MSCs, you can rest assured that your matched stem cells are available as needed for future use. This eliminates the possibility of complications like cell rejection.
Scientists have noted that embryonic stem cell therapy can result in stem cell rejection, much in the way that the human body sometimes rejects donor organs. Scientists, such as radiologist Joseph Wu at the Stanford University School of Medicine, have found that embryonic stem cells are actually detectable by our immune systems. This is contrary to the previously-held notion that these cells can go undetected when transplanted because an embryo is considered a foreign entity to its mother's body since it shares half of its genes with its father. Essentially, stem cell therapy could prove to be utterly useless if a person's body detects and rejects multi-line stem cells.
When you receive your own stem cells, your body is much less likely to reject them since it is already trained to recognize them. Also, you will not need to take as many potent and immune system-weakening drugs as you would if you opted for embryonic stem cell therapy since your immune system will not likely have such a negative response. This is especially exciting news for those needing stem cell therapy who already suffer from weakened or compromised immune system functioning.
Tooth Stem Cell Strength
Another huge benefit of using stem cells from teeth is that these are some of the strongest stem cells found anywhere in the body. They replicate at an exponentially faster rate than stem cells derived from blood and bone marrow and also replicate for an extended period of time.
Tooth stem cells operate a bit differently than cord blood cells. Cord blood cells are collected from the umbilical cord immediately following the birth of a child. These stem cells are much more flexible than adult stem cells and are readily available upon birth.
Cord blood stem cells have been proven effective in regenerating blood cell types, but stem cells from the wisdom tooth and baby tooth regenerate solid tissues (like neuronal and connective tissues) that cord stem cells simply are not able to regenerate as efficiently. If you have already missed out on the opportunity to store your child's stem cells from the blood of the umbilical cord, you will likely have the chance to bank stem cells from a lost or extracted tooth.
Stem cells from teeth are exceptionally strong, but it is generally recommended that you store stem cells from more than one of your child's teeth if possible. These stem cells are unique to each child and their immunological system, so you will have to store them for each of your children.
How Teeth Stem Cells Get Stored
Storing human cells is a process many of us regular folks simply are not familiar with, so it is important to know how stem cells from your child's teeth can actually be banked. The most important thing to know is that you will need to use a stem cell banking company to help you store the stem cells from your child's teeth. Among the numerous tooth banking companies out there, Stem Save is a well-known, FDA-regulated collaboration of stem cell researchers and dentists who work with families to create innovative new treatment options for medical issues. They provide an easily accessible and ultimately secure method for storing stem cells found in teeth that can be used in the future to treat injuries and diseases.
The process itself has two main components - setting up an account with the company and making an appointment with your child's dentist to have the procedure safely and securely carried out. When a baby tooth is loose or a permanent adult or wisdom tooth is needing to be removed, your child's dentist will recover the selected tooth. The tooth is then securely transported to a laboratory, where the tooth will have its stem cells extracted. Those cells will them be analyzed by laboratory scientists to determine whether the stem cells are suitable for cryopreservation. Stem cells that are determined to not be viable cannot be stored. If the stem cells are viable, they are cryogenically preserved, stored, and monitored within the laboratory setting until they are needed in the future.
The Future of Banking Stem Cells and Dentistry Applications
Banking of tooth stem cells is a slowly growing trend that really only has popularity in developed countries like the United States of America, Thailand, India, Norway, Japan, and countries in the United Kingdom. As the need for stem cells and stem cell research continues to grow, so does the trend in banking of stem cells from teeth.
It should be noted that dentistry has some potential applications for stem cells. Currently, scientists are looking at ways of using stem cells to regenerate teeth, thereby eliminating the need for dental implants. Also, stem cells from teeth might be more effective at healing oral injuries or ulcers than current procedures. Gingival MSCs (GMSCs) are capable of treating mandibular defects since they can regenerate bone. They also work to suppress inflammatory responses and the recruitment of cytokines and T-cells.
Stem cells from teeth might also be able to be used in regenerating bone and brain tissue and therapies for muscular dystrophy and heart conditions. Under the Obama administration, stem cell research gained a major foothold in America as part of the political agenda. While, politically, the future of stem cell research in America is currently up in the air, the potential applications for teeth stem cells holds a lot of promise. Of course, further testing is needed to determine the extent to which these stem cells are effective at treating specific diseases and injuries, but many studies already show the vast potential and benefits of banking stem cells extracted from teeth.
If you have young children and are considering storing the stem cells located within their teeth for future use, you should contact Smile Angels, your friendly Beverly Hills dentist, to find out more information about the extraction procedure on a tooth that needs to be removed. Of course, if you have questions about the procedure or the storage of your child's stem cells, you are advised to contact the banking company to find out more information. While it seems kind of silly at first, saving your child's lost or dentist-removed tooth could be helpful years down the line if your child receives a traumatic injury or develops symptoms of a chronic and otherwise difficult-to-treat disease.