Americans especially share a fear of losing their teeth — it’s no wonder it’s such a common nightmare. Our teeth feel personal, an essential part of the way we live our lives. They determine everything from the food we eat to the way we talk. They can also have significant symbolic meaning, representing vitality, youth, beauty, and so many other things. That’s why, for some, losing teeth by accident or by because of oral health complications can feel traumatic. But what if we could grow them back?
Though the prospect sounds like science fiction, we’re discovering new methods of tissue regeneration using stem cells every year.
Regrowing Teeth With Science
Published in the journal, Science Translational Medicine, a group of researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have found success regrowing rat teeth by injecting stem cells into a root canal, and coaxing these cells to grow using a low-power laser. While stem cell science is intriguing, it is generally costly, as cells must develop in a highly controlled environment and transplanted into a patient. This research team, led by David Mooney, may have developed new techniques that could streamline the process.
More recently, researchers in Japan were able to regrow a beagle’s entire tooth. They took stem cells from the beagle, cultured them for two days, then planted them in sockets left by extraction of the beagle’s baby teeth. In just 180 days, a new tooth emerged from the jaw.
While developing a cost-effective way to regrow teeth would revolutionize dentistry, these results are far from turning into the next big treatment. Years of testing will be required before it is ever available on a large scale.
Available Tooth Replacement Options
Losing a tooth can damage your self-esteem, and can even led to loss of bone mass in the jaw bone as well as shifting teeth. Although you can’t yet regrow teeth using stem cells, there are several highly effective options available, including dental implants. Comprised of two main components, the titanium implant and the ceramic crown, dental implants carry a 98 percent success rate. After a consultation, your dentist will place the implant in your jaw bone. As it heals, the titanium fuses with the jaw bone in a process known as osseointegration, creating a connection similar to that of a natural tooth root. When this healing process is complete, a custom-crafted crown is connected to the implant.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Unlike traditional dentures, dental implants allow the patient to continue their normal routines without worrying about the types of foods their eating, or the amount of work necessary to clean their dental implants. Because they function much like that of a natural tooth, a regular oral hygiene routine is sufficient to maintain your dental implants.
Ceramic crowns are made from medical-grade ceramic that is also resistant to chips and stains. Working with a dentist can ensure that these crowns match the shade of your other teeth, and are virtually undetectable.
Do you want to learn whether you’re a good candidate for dental implants in Scripps Ranch? Please call or contact us online today for an appointment with implant dentist Dr. Ramin Goshtasbi at Oasis Dental Arts.