Growing New Teeth
Another worthwhile therapeutic result from adult stem cells.
Useful applications from embryonic stems cells – 0. From non-destructive, ethical stem cell research, over 70, as at 2007.
Researchers have used stems cells taken from mice to create tooth buds. A small incision was made in the animals’ gums and the bud implanted. New teeth grew.
The tooth bud produces a new tooth, and the bone required to anchor the tooth to the jaw.
Professor Paul Sharpe, a specialist in the field of regenerative dentistry at the Dental Institute of King’s College, London, says the same techniques will produce similar results in humans:
Using a local anaesthetic, the tooth bud is inserted through a small incision into the gum. Within months, the cells will have matured into a fully-formed tooth, fused to the jawbone. As the tooth grows, it releases chemicals that encourage nerves and blood vessels to link up with it.