Scientists Investigating Growing New Teeth from Gum Cells
Up until now the most natural looking form of tooth replacement has been a dental implant. In Richmond, here at Sheen Dental we’ve been fitting dental implants with huge success for many years, and whilst they look and feel just like a natural tooth and are in fact treated in exactly the same way, they are still an imitation (albeit a clever one) made up of a titanium tooth root and a porcelain crown. Until recently it was thought that the dental implant which has been around in some form or other for the past 50 years is about as close to a natural tooth as modern dentistry will allow. However scientists have recently made a breakthrough.
Affectionately known as the Biotooth, scientists from Kings College in London have found a way of growing new teeth from human gum cells. It involves taking dental stem cells from a live human and regrowing them under laboratory conditions. The procedure managed to produce a very small immature or ‘baby’ tooth similar to what would be found in an embryo. The idea is that once force grown, the tooth can then be transplanted directly into the mouth where it would hopefully continue to develop under normal conditions. Although the technique isn’t able to allow a person to choose between molars and incisors, dentists would have the ability to re-shape the tooth according to its position in the jaw.
Going to take time
The latest advances made by Professor Sharpe and his team at the Dental Institute have undoubtedly brought the prospect of engineering natural teeth complete with their own root system one step closer. However the team feels that they are still a long way from taking it from the laboratory and out into the dental world. Firstly the success rates rely on a plentiful supply of adult human cells in order to make bioteeth a viable prospect and secondly the team believes that even with sufficient backing and funding, they are 5-10 years away from clinical first-patient trials.
Even though exciting times lay ahead in the dental world, it looks as if (for now at least) that dental implants are still the best way of acquiring natural looking, long lasting teeth.
If you would like more information on how dental implants can change your life for the better then contact Sheen Dental. When it comes to dental implants in Richmond, Dr Harmit Kalsi and the team have the skills and experience to correct even the worst of cases. Call us on 020 8876 5277 or visit the website at www.sheendental.co.uk and book your free, no-obligation consultation today. You’ll be glad that you did!