Exciting medical advancements followed the discovery of stem cells. While research progresses, scientists discover more applications for these incredible cellular reserves. While stem cells exist in your body, they were historically difficult to harvest. Things have changed. The discovery of dental stem cells makes capitalizing on the powerful abilities of these cells easier, promising exciting new applications in medicine.
Flexible Cellular Reproduction
Stem cells are master cells with the incredible ability to replicate cells other than their own. While normal cells can only reproduce cells of the same type, stem cells can reproduce cells of many different types. For example, normal blood cell can only make new blood cells, but a stem cell may reproduce blood, kidney, heart, or bone cells. Scientists can use stem cells to regenerate skin, bone, and entire organs.
There are two types of stem cells: embryonic and adult. Embryonic stem cells come loaded with controversy and public outcry. Adult stem cells, on the other hand, are free from these ethical concerns, and scientists use them in current medical research. Dental stem cells hold exciting promise for scientists, because of their easy access and high potency.
Facts about Dental Stem Cells
We could talk about dental stem cells for days. There really is that much research on them. In the interest of brevity and clarity, here are some interesting facts you should know about these powerful medical reserves.
- Dental stem cells exist in four parts of certain teeth: the dental pulp, periodontal ligament, apical papilla, and dental follicle.
- Normal stem cells are usually small in number, hard to identify, and buried deep in the body’s tissue. Found in baby, wisdom, and permanent teeth, dental stem cells are much more accessible.
- Using your own stem cells in a medical procedure reduces the risk that your body will reject donor tissue. Because dental stem cells are easy to access, they make banking your own stem cells easier, and if you have banked stem cells, you’re less likely to need stem cells from someone or something else.
- Dental stem cells are among the most powerful in the body. They replicate cells faster and longer than other stem cells.
- Like other stem cells, the potency of dental stem cells decreases with time. Harvesting these cells from teeth early in life helps preserve their value when needed. Stem cells must be stored under strict conditions at a stem cell bank.
Schedule an Appointment
While the dental application of stem cells is still down the road a bit, Dr. Stewart offers comprehensive dental care using the most contemporary, evidence-based practices. To schedule your next six-month dental cleaning or a consultation with the doctor, please call our Livonia dental office at (734) 425-4400. We serve patients from Novi, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Dearborn, and the surrounding areas.