An early stage research project done by the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine has given hope that teeth can be regenerated back into the vacant lot previously occupied by original teeth. A researcher named Dr Jeremy Mao has experienced some early success with the concept.
Basically, the idea involves construction of a little scaffold in the empty tooth spot and coaxing dental cells to grow into their new home.
The upside is a natural replacement for an unfortunate decision to mouth off to the wrong guy early in life, among other good reasons for missing teeth.
We’ve simplified the process for some very good reasons.
The best reason is that we are not dentists, so we will consult with our buddy Dr. Brian Saby DDS, to get the real facts on this bold new concept. He is our go-to guy when it comes to new ideas in the dental world and whether or not they brush with reality.
We also appreciate that Brian stays ahead of the curve on dental advances, plus he gets to the point in a hurry in his field of expertise.
The fact that Columbia University is involved is encouraging, but most miracle cures in medicine are usually a clear case of jumping the gun. Let’s hope that this research has some traction so that hockey players can get back the Chiclets they lost during their careers.
We will let you know what Dr. Saby has to say about this matter.
DR.BRIAN SABY:”Growing new teeth. This is a great concept, one that researchers are starting to work on. It would be great if you could put a ball of precurser cells into a spot where a tooth used to be and a new tooth would grow. There has been some work on this, however, there is quite a difference betweeen “tooth like material” and a functioning tooth. A mass of dentin, enamel and connective tissue may look like a tooth under the microscope, but unless it forms like the tooth it needs to replace it is useless and may even be harmful. Until the issues of appropriate differentiation of the cells (if you need a lower right first molar replaced, you need to grow a certain type of tooth, not a upper central incisor) is addressed you might want to consider some other form of tooth replacement method. Science must also learn how to turn off the growth of these new cells. Uncontrolled growth of cells is called a tum or. There is no doubt that one day tooth replacement by growing a new tooth will happen, we just don’t know when. Scientists love to make “major” anouncements regarding their research, it is what keeps the grants coming. For now, if you want to replace a missing tooth, you can have a dental implant placed. This is a titanium root replacement. The body does not recognize pure titanium as a foreign body and the bone cells attach to the titanium. This process is called osteointegration. Once the implant had integrated, your dentist can attach a tooth to the new titanium root. This tooth will act just like a tooth. This amazing technology is available today (it has been used for over 30 years now) and has a success rate of over 90%. While growing new teeth may seem like science fiction now, it was only a few years ago that implant dentistry was treated as science fiction as well. Who knows, in the future, dentists may shake thier heads at the “stone age” approach to dentistry we are using today.
MARK:”Regarding growing new teeth – I know an old lady in our town (she is my sister in law’s grandmother) who actually has grown a whole second set of teeth as her original ones fell out! She is in her late 90’s and doesn’t have dentures”