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Stem cells from baby teeth patch up dental injuries in clinical trial

Date: 14.9.2018 

Your teeth are one of the only parts of your body that can't naturally repair themselves – so when a kid injures a permanent tooth at a young age, they're stuck with that for life. But a new clinical trial has shown promising results in using dental stem cells derived from a patient's baby teeth to bring a "dead" tooth back to life. 
Kredit: University of Pennsylvania.

The study builds on previous work that investigated human deciduous pulp stem cells (hDPSC), which may be able to replenish pulp – the soft, innermost tissue of a tooth. To find out, the trial involved 40 children who had all injured one of their permanent incisors. Most of those patients were treated using hDPSCs, while a control group of 10 underwent apexification, the current standard procedure for this kind of injury.

Patients in the test group had hDPSCs extracted from the pulp of one of their healthy baby teeth, which were then grown in a lab before being implanted into the injured tooth. The researchers followed up with the patients after treatment, and found that one year later those who had received the stem cell treatment had regained some sensation in the injured tooth, while the control group had not.

"This treatment gives patients sensation back in their teeth," says Songtao Shi, co-lead author of the study. "If you give them a warm or cold stimulation, they can feel it; they have living teeth again. So far we have follow-up data for two, two and a half, even three years, and have shown it's a safe and effective therapy."





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