Stem Cell Dentistry: Can It Restore Your Teeth?

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Restorative dentistry has reached new heights within the last five years. Stem cells, when they were the topic du jour, became the focus of restorative dentistry and research. It was of interest because dental pulp, the living part of a tooth, carried mesenchymal stem cells, the type of stem cells that can be used to repair some types of bodily damage in adults. Ongoing research in places like Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, has determined that repairing and restoring a tooth is as "simple" as coaxing the tooth's own stem cells to move and grow at a faster rate. The following illustrates what all of this research means for restorative dentistry and your teeth.

No More Drilling and Filling

According to the research performed at Harvard, low laser pulses focused on the stem cells in teeth increase the production of dentin, the protective outer coating of teeth that prevents enamel wear and cavities. What this means for your teeth is that you can visit a restoration dentist and request a stem cell and laser procedure to reverse or halt the progression of cavities. Reversing and/or halting the progression of cavities means no drilling or fillings.

No More Sealants

Because broken and chipped teeth often expose the pulp at the heart of the teeth, the stem cells in the pulp are also exposed. According to the research findings published by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health, a tooth's natural stem cells can be used to fuse a broken tooth back together, without a dental sealant. This creates a natural "implant" that requires no screws into the jaw, and the broken tooth is fully restored when the dental stem cells are given enough time to work their magic. When used in conjunction with the laser treatment from Harvard, your tooth looks as good as new, and only your dentist can tell that it was ever broken.

The Future of Stem Cells and Restorative Dentistry

Some of the above therapies are already in limited use, but researchers are continuing to look at how dental pulp and stem cells can advance restorative dentistry further. As early as 2012, researchers began looking at regeneration, stem cells and teeth, with the hopes that they might be able to grow real teeth in a lab or, better still, in a host patient. In the meantime, if you visit a restoration dentist who has both the equipment and the training, you can ask for these advanced approaches to fix your teeth without pain or metal devices. 

For more information on restorative dentistry, contact a practice like Alliance Family Dental.