Tooth Restoration and Bioengineering

The conventional method of tooth restoration for teeth that are damaged (for instance, due to cavities, trauma, or gum decay) is the use of an artificial filling or a dental implant. New work done by researchers at Okayama University, however, has made progress in bioengineering a tooth and successfully implanting it into a mammal.

Using stem cell technology, the researchers first developed a tooth germ with the organ germ method, and then transplanted the tooth into mice to determine whether a healthy tooth would form. The trials proved successful, and both hard and soft tissues developed after several weeks. The same method was then applied to a larger mammal (a beagle), and promising signs of tooth restoration once again could be seen after 180 days.

This procedure could also be relevant to humans; scientists have identified immature wisdom teeth as a potential source of stem germ cells, which could drastically change the way we treat damaged teeth.







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