Dental implants are one of the most popular options of replacing missing teeth. However, the process can sometimes be uncomforting and costly. Recent researches have, nonetheless, attempted to provide alternative solutions by finding ways to grow new and natural tooth roots through the use of stem cells. This implies that dental implants may soon become obsolete.
What are stem cells?
Generally, stem cells have extraordinary capabilities of multiplying and transforming into various types of body cells. Stem cells can repair body tissues by dividing constantly into new stem cells or more specialized cells such as muscle cell, skin cell or blood cell.
Stem cell-related researches aren’t new phenomena to the medical world. Several studies have also been carried in orthopedics, neurology, cardiology, and other medical areas. However, it’s only recently that the dental fraternity refocused on stem cells and their applications in aiding bone grafting and dental follicles reconstruction. Stem cell researches have also been carried on the possibilities of healing traumatized or diseased organs and tissues. More recently, for instance, stem cells have been utilized in growing and developing complete organs, including the heart (in mice) and are currently being utilized—albeit on experimental basis—in repairing heart muscles in heart attack patients.
Dental implants vs. Stem cells
Since dental implants often involve a lot of procedures, they are associated with a plethora of risks including nerve damages, infections, swelling, bleeding, harm to blood vessels or surrounding teeth, and pain. Healing process also takes longer—18 months—and the implants may sometimes refuse to align with the patient’s jawbone and even fall out.
On the other hand, the use of stem cells will be non-invasive and will only require the use of anesthetic. This means that within 2 months or less, the stem cells will be able to grow and develop into a new tooth that’s an exact match of the original. What’s more, the stem cells can develop the bone that connects the jaw and the tooth, which in turn eliminates the need for bone grafting—in dental implant surgery, the process alone takes 6 to 9 months!
Stem cells implants are also more comfortable and healthier. Unlike dental implants, the new teeth can move with the patent’s mouth, conserving further the health and safety of the gums—as there is no risk of the tooth falling out.
Although scientists haven’t figured out all the details of this important medical advancement, it is believed that very soon, stem cells are going to replace dental implants. A lot of lab tests still need to be done to ascertain the viability of the various research findings before they are presented to the general public. The Chrysalis Dental Centres website is a good reference if you want to find more information online.