Baby Teeth Originated Stem Cells to Treat Permanent Dental Injuries

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Recent clinical trial reported successful treatment of injured permanent teeth using stem cells initiated from baby teeth

Teeth is the only organ of human body that in incapable of renewing itself after damage has occurred. Teeth injury at young age can result in to lifetime complications. New clinical trial has shown promising results in using dental stem cells derived from a patient’s baby teeth, which regenerated damaged tooth. The study builds on previous work that investigated human deciduous pulp stem cells (hDPSC), which may be able to replenish pulp – the soft, innermost tissue of a tooth. The new research was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine in September 2018.

As a part of the study, 40 children were enrolled having injured one of their permanent incisors. Most of those patients were treated using hDPSCs, while a control group of 10 underwent apexification, the current standard procedure for this kind of injury. Test group patients had hDPSCs extracted from the pulp of one of their healthy baby teeth, which were grown in a lab before being implanted into the injured tooth. The researchers followed up with the patients after treatment, and found that one year later those who had received the stem cell treatment had regained some sensation in the injured tooth, while the control group had not. Furthermore, follow-ups over the years revealed that the test group seemed to have healthier root development, increased blood flow and thicker dentin, the tough middle layer of a tooth.

Moreover, in one case a patient reinjured the treated tooth and had to have it extracted, giving the researchers the chance to directly examine it. The stem cells had regenerated cells that produce dentin, connective tissue and blood vessels inside the tooth pulp.  However, the process might not be helpful for adults who lost all their baby teeth long ago. Furthermore, researchers are planning to test using hDPSCs donated from other people, which is associated with the risk of the recipient’s body rejecting the implant.

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