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A Homegrown Smile? Atlanta Dentist Examines New Research on the Biological Teeth Replacement
Date:3/29/2013

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) March 29, 2013

The teeth play an important role in speaking, chewing, and supporting other oral structures. Even a single missing tooth can significantly reduce a person’s ability to perform these everyday tasks normally. Dentists and patients have a wide range of dental prosthetics such as bridgework, partial dentures, and dental implants to replace missing adult teeth.

Recent research from King’s College London has opened up another possibility for replacing missing dentition: bioengineered teeth. Drawing inspiration from both stem cell research and craniofacial development, scientists successfully demonstrated that placing cells from the teeth primordia (embryonic or immature teeth) in the jawbone can develop into functional adult teeth. Unfortunately, utilizing stem cells in this manner is not a practical option for dentistry on a large scale.

To address this issue, researchers had to locate an adult-derived source for the types of cells needed to generate bioteeth. Researchers working at the King’s College London Dental Institute discovered that epithelial cells taken from the gum tissue of adults, when implanted in the embryonic teeth cells of mice, successfully grew into mouse/human hybrid teeth complete with crown, root, dentin, and enamel layers.

Dr. David Zelby, an Atlanta dentist who specializes in restorative dentistry and dental prosthetics, cautions that while this is a huge advance for both dentists and patients,
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