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Stem Cell Research

Stem cells regenerate teeth in pigs, study says

11 years, 10 months ago

982  0
Posted on Jan 15, 2007, 5 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Using stem cells harvested from the extracted wisdom teeth of young adults, researchers have successfully generated tooth root and supporting tooth ligaments to support a crown restoration in experiments using miniature pigs. The restored tooth mirrored the original tooth in function and strength, the research team reports in the December issue of the open access medical journal PLoS ONE. The technique holds promise for use in humans, the investigators say.
Using stem cells harvested from the extracted wisdom teeth of young adults, researchers have successfully generated tooth root and supporting tooth ligaments to support a crown restoration in experiments using miniature pigs.

The restored tooth mirrored the original tooth in function and strength, the research team reports in the December issue of the open access medical journal PLoS ONE. The technique holds promise for use in humans, the investigators say.

Stem cells are the master cells of the body that give rise to all the blood and tissue in the body.

Dr. Songtao Shi said: "In this study, we use stem cell technology to generate 'a bio-root and periodontal tissue' along with dental clinical porcelain crown technique to restore tooth function in swine (mini-pig)."

Shi, from the University of Southern California School of Dentistry, Los Angeles, added. "This is a hybridized approach (stem cell and clinical technologies) leading to reconstruction of functional tooth in an animal model similar to human."

The researchers hope to test their technique in humans within the next several years. If successful, it could be especially attractive to dental patients who are not good candidates for dental implants or would prefer living tissue derived from their own teeth.

"Implant patients must have sufficient bone in the jaw to support the implant. For those who don't, this therapy would be a great alternative," Shi said in a statement. Read Full Story

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