Stem cells regenerate nerve tissue and have helped patients with cancer and other conditions for several years. Scientists are studying the benefits of stem cells for oral health concerns, which may improve or treat jaw pain, tooth sensitivity, and periodontal disease. Stems cell therapy is new to dentistry, and New York Smile Institute in NYC is one of few dentistry offices in the country offering this service.
What Are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are regenerative master cells that divide and renew, even after dormant periods. They are found throughout the body, and specific types of stem cells can transform into other types of cells and tissue. Stem cells are an invaluable treatment option for some illnesses and push the body to heal.
Doctors can extract stem cells from adult tissues, amniotic fluid, umbilical cord blood, and adult tissues. The most abundant store of stem cells is in the teeth, called mesenchymal stem cells. These tissues are typically used to make cartilage, bone, or fat and are great for addressing issues with the skeletal system and orthopedic injuries. FDA-approved uses for stem cell therapy include some blood disorders, immune system disorders, and cancers, such as neuroblastoma, leukemia, and lymphoma.
Stem Cell Therapy for Oral Health
Stem cells have a lot of potential in dentistry and can be used for numerous issues. They may restore pulp removed due to infection and help regenerate ligaments in the gums after damage from advanced periodontitis. Stem cell therapy may help some patients avoid a root canal by helping to biologically repair the tooth in cases where the tooth decay extends into the tooth pulp and causes pain and infection.
One of the most promising applications of dental stem cell therapy is regenerating teeth. Scientists have made breakthroughs in using stem cells and are discovering these remarkable tissues can repair some areas of the teeth and the jawbone and gum tissue supporting them.
Stem cells provide the natural building blocks for a tooth to regrow in the socket instead of using an artificial tooth and titanium post that replaces the tooth root (dental implant). Someone with tooth loss due to an accident or untreated dental decay often requires a dental implant, and tooth damage may also lead to loss of gum tissue and jawbone degradation. Scientists are still working on tooth regeneration for humans with stem cells. However, researchers were able to grow a tooth inside a rat’s mouth using stem cells and hope to move on to human teeth inside the mouth.
Research published in Science Translational Medicine in 2018 reported that doctors were able to extract human dental pulp stem cells from healthy teeth in patients and implant them in damaged teeth. The dental pulp tissue regenerated with new sensory nerves and blood vessels within 12 months, and the roots continued maturing with this treatment.
The Journal of Dental Research and Science Translation Medicine researched dental bone regeneration in the upper and lower jaws. Researchers found that Leptin-Receptor-Expressing Stem Cells (LepR+) could rebuild alveolar bone tissue around tooth sockets in the upper teeth after tooth extraction. This bone keeps the teeth in place and supports the roots. An adhesive hydrogel made with stem cells and microparticles to help oral cavity bone development may activate the regeneration of the oral cavity bone.
Learn More About Stem Cell Therapy for Oral Health
If you’re interested in stem cell therapy for oral health, schedule a dental exam and consultation at New York Smile Institute. Our NYC dentists are one of few dentistry practices offering this regenerative treatment. Schedule a consultation at our New York, New York office at (212) 319-6363.
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The Dr. Dean Experience
Dentist of the Dentists
Dr. Dean Vafiadis is the Founder of New York Smile Institute and a respected Prosthodontic specialist in New York and around the world. He also serves as an Associate Professor of Prosthodontics at NYU College of Dentistry and routinely lectures around the world on dentistry. His mission is to serve his patients’ dental needs while also helping to advance dental care treatments and therapeutics on an industry level.