Dental Stem Cells

By Carol | May 22, 2009

Dear Dr. Carol,

I have been hearing about dental stem cells over the past couple of years.  How close are we to growing new teeth in people’s mouth?

George

Dear George,

Currently there are no human trials taking place with the postnatal cells and there are no clinical applications available.  Right now, cells from dental pulp in baby or wisdom teeth have the ability to make dentin and pulp.  There may be other uses in the future, but those advances in science have not yet been made.

For your information, the inside of the tooth where the nerves and blood vessels are is called the pulp.  The middle part of the tooth is called the dentin, and the outside part above the gum line, is called the enamel. 

For more information about stem cells, visit The Web page of the National Institutes of Health that features stem cell information: http://stemcells.nih.gov/info.

Dr. Carol

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