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Regrowth of own teeth - the role of stem cells in modern dentistry

Soroosh Rahimy, Nikoo Rahimy, Dennis D‘Aprile, Stefan Schreiber, Stole Zafiroski


Introduction: Even with good oral hygiene and low risk factors it is not always possible to prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease during the course of life, and teeth may sometimes need to be extracted. Scientists are already working on the idea that patients no longer have to adapt to fillings, implants, crowns or prostheses, but naturally regrow completely new teeth by using embryonic and mature stem cells.

Materials and methods: PubMed search of articles containing the terms: Stem cells, dentistry, re­growth, teeth was performed.

Results: In a study performed by the University of Tokyo embryonic stem cells were implanted in jaws of eight-week-old mice at the position of a previously extracted molar tooth. After 37 days, new teeth erupted through the gingiva, and occlusion occurred after 49 days. The teeth were all correct­ly aligned and fully functional, innervated by nerves and supplied with blood. In another study per­formed by researchers from the Columbia University in New York mature stem cells were used for the renewal of different dental materials. Lost teeth were used by this researchers to form a model of de­gradable polymers based on an impression of the old tooth or images taken using computed tomog­raphy. This model was implanted in the jaws of patients and stimulated with growth factors, attract­ing adult stem cells from the vicinity of the missing tooth. These stem cells were able to grow into the polymer structure which resulted in firmly functional new teeth.

Conclusions: After comparing these two articles, Stem cell therapy - growing new teeth in mice and humans shows a lot of potential, but the results could only be achieved under certain conditions in the laboratory. It needs to be seen in the future if these successes can also be applied as a standard therapy.


stem cell; regrowth; teeth; side effect; modern dentistry; ethics



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