Tag Archives: dentistry

Scientists may soon grow new teeth in lab

By Stephen Cauchi, Farmonline.com.au

AUSTRALIAN scientists are giving the dentally challenged something to smile about: the prospect of growing new teeth.

Stem cells are being used to grow new tissue around teeth in animals, a first step towards treating dental diseases in humans. The ultimate goal is for teeth to become the first complex organs to be created entirely from stem cells.

“I have no doubt that whole teeth regeneration is going to happen one day,” said Mark Bartold, from the University of Adelaide’s dentistry department.

Should the scientists’ ambitions be realised, whole teeth would be grown in a laboratory using stem cells taken from a patient’s baby or wisdom teeth. These live teeth would be implanted into empty gum sockets, replacing the current method of inserting artificial teeth on metal pins.

The science involves harvesting stem cells from the layer of dental pulp between the tooth’s dentine (the layer immediately underneath the enamel) and the cementum (the layer which covers the tooth’s root).

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