Health & Wellbeing

Dental implants could be grown inside patients' mouths

Dr. Mao's microchannelled scaffold
Dr. Mao's microchannelled scaffold
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Dr. Mao's microchannelled scaffold
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Dr. Mao's microchannelled scaffold

Conventional dental implants are typically screwed into the patient’s jaw bone, require visits to several types of clinicians, take two to six months to heal, and are still subject to failure. Not exactly an ideal solution to missing teeth. A professor of dental medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, however, has devised a technique wherein implants could be grown in the empty tooth socket, right inside the patient’s mouth.

Dr. Jeremy Mao started with a tooth-shaped scaffold made of microchannelled natural materials, infused with a growth factor. In an animal-model study, he placed that structure in a recipient’s empty tooth socket, then caused their stem cells to home (migrate) onto the scaffold. It resulted not only in the growth of a new tooth-like structure, but also in the regeneration of periodontal ligaments and the formation of new alveolar bone.

Dr. Mao believes that a complete tooth could be grown in as little as nine weeks.

Previously, such “tooth-growing” would have required the use of harvested stem cells, and would have to be done in an external environment such as a petri dish. By growing within the tooth socket, the implant integrates with the surrounding tissue in a way that would otherwise be impossible. Because it’s made from the recipient’s own cells, it will continuously regenerate and could even last their lifetime.

The Columbia University research could mean all the difference for certain patients. “A key consideration in tooth regeneration is finding a cost-effective approach that can translate into therapies for patients who cannot afford or who aren’t good candidates for dental implants,” Dr. Mao said. “Cell-homing-based tooth regeneration may provide a tangible pathway toward clinical translation.”

14 comments
Russell Taylor
Cool
mrhuckfin
O.K. that is SO COOL! Sign me up I need this right now! :-)
Tony Wood
I need this kind of treatment too but I wonder if this can translate to other bone & tissue regrowth like spinal damage?
Stef
Hi, I like this, Can I be testperson? Stef, Holland
3dz
Well, I certainly fit the bill. Need any testers?
Facebook User
regeneration!!
David Larson
sign me up too!!
wow2010
WE now have breast implant, butts implant, tooth implant etc. pretty soon, mankind could live forever with all the implant with nothing origin. Even the brain could be implant with transfer data like we doing with a Hard Disk. Fascinating. If this happened, we need a few more larger livable planets because earth will not growth but dieing.
warrnamboolman
Totally Awesome, Dr Mao deserves a medal. We need to reconise and reward the genius of people like Dr Mao with public recognition and monetry recognition or reward. This is an amazing gift to mankind. Dr Jeremy Mao, I salute you. Should you require candidates for testing of this wonderful invention please count me in. Wayne
luckyfella1
If anyone needs this process, it\'s me. Not that many others don\'t. All senior citizens need help, if they don\'t have insurance. Sure, I\'ll submit to a test of this new technology. Losing teeth like crazy. At 73, doesn\'t look good for me. Also need the heart stem cell treatment. don\'t know which will get me but I guess I\'ll be the last one considered as a test subject.
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