Even if you haven’t experienced tooth loss, you’re probably aware of the importance of maintaining your natural permanent teeth–especially since you only grow one set. At our Maury County dentist’s office, Dr. David Foster can help restore your smile’s beauty and function by supporting expertly-fabricated replacement teeth on one or more dental implants. Nevertheless, Dr. Foster warns that preventing lost teeth is preferable to replacing them, since even the best restorations don’t compare to your natural tooth structure. Some researchers, however, are hoping to change that and the lives of tooth loss patients by studying how to direct stem cells to become human teeth.
Understanding a Stem Cell
Stem cells are described as undifferentiated cells that have the potential to become specialized cell types. This potential creates a wide array of opportunities for the scientific and medical community, possibly allowing for the regeneration of damaged or diseased cells that may not otherwise be healed. For the stem cells to differentiate into specified cell types, such as dental cells, they require a set of instructions. In the quest to grow permanent human teeth, scientists believe they may have taken an important step by discovering a dental cell marker known to dictate the continuous growth of teeth.
Teach a Stem Cell to Become a Tooth
The mechanisms and patterns involved in human tooth growth are similar in mice, who possess incisors that continuously grow throughout their lives. Researchers at the Institute of Biotechnology in Helsinki, Finland, have decided to study this phenomenon, and have discovered that the incisors’ growth is dictated by a group of stem cells located at the base of the tooth. These dental stem cells possess a specific transcription factor that acts as a marker for dental cell growth, and researchers believe they may provide important insight into directing stem cells to grow human tooth structure.
About Your Maury County Dentist:
If you’ve lost one or more teeth already, you don’t have to wait until stem cell therapy is perfected before enjoying a mouth full of teeth again. Instead, speak with Dr. Foster about your options for effective tooth replacement, including dental implants the replace the roots of your lost teeth. David Foster, DDS is a Columbia, TN native who’s served the dental needs of patients and their families in our community since 1985. If you live in Columbia, Lewisburg, Lawrenceburg, Hohenwald, Centerville, Pulaski, or any of the surrounding communities, call us today at (931) 388 – 3384 to schedule an appointment.