At first, cryopreserved stem cells in cell banks might sound as something which only exists in movies, but this fiction, as some people call it, could soon become a reality. In the opinion of scientists, baby teeth have the kind of stem cells that help regenerate the body, hence one day baby teeth could be used to save lives. Some parents have taken this discovery too seriously and started keeping their children’s baby teeth.
Every organ and tissue in our body began grew out of a cluster of stem cells early in development. They are different because they have the ability to regenerate, divide, and repair the human body. There are two major sources of stem cells. The first one is Embryos, which is created during the blastocyst phase of embryological development defined as embryonic stem cells. The second main source is adult tissue and is described as adult stem cells. Both are known for their ability and potential to turn into other types of cells like muscle or bone.
Baby teeth are example of a source of stem cells like bone marrow and can be saved as a form of biological insurance. Science hasn’t proven its maximum potential yet, but it’s worth keeping them as a big and advanced step in medicine. Dentists and stem cell experts have created a team to make the first stem cell banks for teeth. One such initiative is Store-A-Tooth. They make real the possibility of shipping them your teeth and extracting the stem cells from them. Later, they store them in a culture where they can grow. Then, those cells are taken and cryopreserved.
Currently, the cryopreservation of baby teeth doesn’t have great significance, but its meaning for the future is remarkable. The price is very high. Store-A-Tooth requires a $1, 747 upfront fee, and then extra $120 yearly fee. However, their theory is that even though it costs much, this procedure can save someone’s life. It depends on whether the research closes the gap between theory and reality.
Still just in theory
Experts confirm that it’s still too early to consider dental pulp stem cells as a source of cells for replacing or regenerating tissue. They believe that this process can work because it is already known that dental pulp can make bone. The Tooth Bank and StemSave are one of the tooth banks that are close to realizing this medical technology.
There are many diseases that these stem cells are useful for. At this moment, there is thorough research which regards the application of stem cells for treating health conditions like: Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, spinal cord injuries, damaged organs, and treating different types of cancer. As it was mentioned above, this research is still on-going, but undoubtedly it makes sense and it does have the necessary potential. So consider this possibility and why not save your child’s baby teeth. Who knows, you might ensure their life.