There’ve been great advancements in how stem cells could be used to treat disease in the future, such as how wisdom teeth stem cells could repair corneas in the eye. One of the latest news stories is how a team of dentists and engineers from the University Of Nevada in Las Vegas have found ways to harvest stem cells located in wisdom teeth, with the idea that these could later be used to heal damaged cells in the body. Why is this important? It offers benefits to the medical world while making wisdom teeth more useful than ever before.
Many Extracted Teeth Are Still Healthy
Many people have teeth pulled out. In fact, in the U.S., research has found that around 75-80 percent of people have wisdom teeth removed because they’re troublesome. However, the team of dentists and engineers from Las Vegas has found that many of the teeth that get extracted are still healthy. They contain root pulp that can reproduce cells which have been damaged by disease. The problem is that it’s not easy to get to the pulp – you can’t just break the tooth.
How To Retrieve Stem Cells From Teeth
Since teeth have irregular surfaces, they can’t be smashed open to reveal their precious stem cells. This could cause tooth damage which makes it more difficult to retrieve the cells. So, the team found a new way to get stem cells from teeth, thanks to a former dental student who developed a tool called the ‘Tooth Cracker 5000.’ It breaks the tooth in half without causing damage, while offering dentists access to the root pulp. This method was found to have 100 percent success after it was tested on 25 teeth.
Other Teeth Could Also Be Used For Cells
Interestingly, it’s not just wisdom teeth that could provide stem cells. Teeth that undergo root canal procedures could also allow for stem cell harvesting, without the need for tooth extraction. This could revolutionize our current healthcare models, especially because retrieving stem cells from tooth pulp is not invasive and doesn’t require overnight hospital stays or expensive medical equipment.
What To Know About Stem Cells
These cells grow into other types of cells, helping to replace injured or damaged cells with healthier ones. Root pulp in teeth are valuable because they contain both pluripotent stem cells and multipotent stem cells. While multipotent cells (such as cord blood stem cells) are limited, pluripotent stem cells can grow into any kind of cell or tissue.
Stem cells are an interesting medical breakthrough and they’re being used and harvested in many ways. The method of taking them from the root pulp of teeth could make the process much less invasive while the variety of stem cells found in teeth will offer solutions to heal injured bodily cells in the future.