Dental Stem Cell banking is an opportunity to bank quality stem cells of an individual noninvasively for possible future medical needs
Stem cells are the building blocks or the master cells of our body. They are called “stem cells” simply because almost all the other cells of your body originate from them. Though to most people the concept of “stem cells” may seem relatively new; the idea however has been discussed by many doctors and scientists more than 100 years ago.
Dental Stem Cell banking is an opportunity to bank quality stem cells of an individual noninvasively for possible future medical needs. Whilst stem cells are present in all parts of our body, it is not possible to isolate them from everywhere because of either the procedure being invasive, painful or because of ethical concerns. Tooth has been identified to have excellent quality of stem cells. The primary or milk tooth of a young child which is due to naturally fall can be an excellent source of very high quality of stem cells which can be retrieved and banked by cryopreservation for many years without deterioration.
The preservation of what would have been otherwise naturally lost also ensures that the ethical concerns are also not dishonored. Similarly the healthy teeth like the ones extracted before braces treatment or the wisdom teeth giving trouble which have already been indicated for extractions by the dentist, and would end up in dustbins could be used to retrieve and preserve the stem cells of the individual for future medical benefits. The ongoing medical research is excitingly indicating the management and complete cure of many debilitating medical conditions with the help of stem cells. It would not be injudicious to believe that many more diseases in future would find their cure on stem cells therapy.
Scope of Stem Cell Banking in India: Good health is the best gift an individual can give to himself and his dependent family. With healthcare gaining its due importance amongst the educated urban population of our country, dental stem cell banking could be viewed as a personal contribution towards family’s health insurance. Individuals go to a great degree to ensure good health for themselves and further more protect themselves from mainly financial implications of a advanced medical care in future by buying insurance policies. The mere numbers of medical insurance policies in our country are indicative of the fact the way urban educated individual thinks about his future health. A stem cell preserved at the age of 8 years in childhood could possibly give a 60 yr old heart patient his own fresh young muscle cells or could also cure a diabetic individual completely off the disease.
Stem Cell benefit for dental patient: We are blessed that biotechnology and medical engineering now gives us the opportunity to not only isolate these precious cells from our body but also store/freeze them at an early age so that they may used anytime later for our own health needs including oral health. There are few universities including AIIMS which are working towards the same.
Stem Cells are currently being used in experimental stages to develop and grow a fully differentiated and morphologically well defined and developed tooth within one own jaws. After the loss of natural tooth, dental implant is presently the most chosen replacement option. One could expect medical engineering to come out with solutions in which a fully differentiated new tooth can grow in jaw and function normally after one of our own is lost.
Stem cell therapy has also shown during research that the injury or a jaw surgery site shows an appreciable fast recovery if the site is introduced and exposed to one’s own stem cells. Having generated a lot of positive buzz in the Western world, this revolutionary concept is bound to make our serious dental practitioners too sit up and take notice in the very near future.