Stem-Cell Teeth

No details given on the world of vagina dentata possibilities that this opens up:
Dr. Jeremy Mao, the Edward V. Zegarelli Professor of Dental Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, has unveiled a growth factor-infused, three-dimensional scaffold with the potential to regenerate an anatomically correct tooth in just nine weeks from implantation. By using a procedure developed in the university's Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory, Dr. Mao can direct the body's own stem cells toward the scaffold, which is made of natural materials. Once the stem cells have colonized the scaffold, a tooth can grow in the socket and then merge with the surrounding tissue. Dr. Mao's technique not only eliminates the need to grow teeth in a Petri dish, but it is the first to achieve regeneration of anatomically correct teeth by using the body's own resources.

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7 Responses:

  1. pavel_lishin says:

    Speaking as someone with bad teeth, HELL YES.

  2. lionsphil says:

    I'm surprised you don't have a "teeth" tag yet.

    About 50 results for teeth

  3. hadlock says:

    once they get down to about $3500 ea they'll be price competitive against root canals et all

    bonus points if they use gene therapy on the stem cells to give you improved tooth enamel

    the most expensive part is going to be extracting and culturing stem cells, scaffolding is going to be cheap. there shouldn't be a tremendous difference (30%?) between replacing just one and eight molars.

    • gryazi says:

      My impression from RTFA is that he's got a 'growth factor' that convinces existing stem cells lingering in the area to migrate to the scaffold (and/or as likely, convinces cells to transform back into stem cells so the same can occur).

      "Dr. Mao's technique not only eliminates the need to grow teeth in a Petri dish, but it is the first to achieve regeneration of anatomically correct teeth by using the body's own resources."

      I'm not aware of anyone growing teeth in a Petri dish other than by playing with extracted stem cells, but yeah, science author do need to write English gooder.

  4. gryazi says:

    ...let me reiterate something kind of awful so any new readers don't make the same mistakes:

    * Firm toothbrushes turned out to be not such a great idea for me. They'll seem like they're working great for 5-10 years and then you'll realize you've been wantonly roughing up and wearing down your enamel. Professional cleanings whip out the polish, which is also abrasive, but only once or twice a year, and if they're doing it right they're specifically trying to smooth things out so there's less texture for sugars/bacteria/etc to stick to.

    * The real point of 'brush 300 times a day' is to get bacteria chow (sugars, everything that breaks down to sugars) off your teeth immediately. You're mostly trying to neutralize crap and dislodge it, and the 'scrubbing' is sort of incidental. Thus, brushing lightly for 30 seconds 3+ times a day is probably going to help a lot more than scraping away for 8 minutes (even if you've got tea/coffee/nicotine stains - they'll either come off with time or you'll just have to bleach them anyway).

    * If you can feel a 'notch' around the base of a tooth, you've lost the game, it's not going to fix itself, go see a professional ASAP.

    • gryazi says:

      P.S.: Jesus Christ never ever live in a 100 mile radius of New York City. Quoted $500/tooth for an uncomplicated "you have the best kind of teeth for this!" wisdom tooth extraction. Before anesthetic.

      I've got it down to about $2,000 after two days of shopping around awkwardly. The nearest place that'll do it for $175/tooth is booked through the end of July.

  5. I'm so glad that someone has finally eliminated the need to grow teeth in a Petri dish.

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