The latest Journal of Dental Research features a new study revealing that people might be able to regrow teeth with the help of a new tissue regeneration technique.
According to Dr. Jeremy Mao, the Edward V. Zegarelli Professor of Dental Medicine at Columbia University Medical Centre, the body’s own stem cells can be directed toward a 3D growth-factor-infused scaffold made of natural materials which has the potential to regenerate an anatomically correct tooth in only 9 weeks from implantation. When the stem cells colonize the scaffold, a tooth can grow in the socket merging with the surrounding tissue. Dr. Mao developed this technique at the university’s Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory.
Unlike growing teeth in a Petri dish, Dr. Mao’s technique is the first to bring about regeneration of anatomically correct teeth with the use of the body’s natural resources. What makes this dental treatment so appealing is the faster healing time as well as the fairly natural regrowth process as opposed to implantation.
Patient applications have already been filed by Columbia University regarding this technology and associates are sought to help commercialize it. Meanwhile, Dr. Mao is working on the best approach to make his technique applicable to cost-efficient clinical trials.