Why Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom tooth extraction is a unique opportunity to safely and painlessly extract and preserve the right stem cells at the right time.
The type of stem cells found in wisdom teeth, known as dental pulp stem cells (DSPCs), are of particular interest to scientists because they are safe and easy to collect and cryogenically freeze. Like other types of stem cells, dental pulp stem cells have the remarkable ability to differentiate into various kinds of human cells for use in the treatment of a wide range of conditions and diseases.
Because the pulp within healthy adult teeth is one of the most easily accessible sources of stem cells in our bodies, wisdom tooth extraction is the perfect opportunity to bank these precious cells. Other methods of collection, such as harvesting stem cells from bone marrow or cord blood, require invasive or time-sensitive procedures, and can be very expensive. By collecting stem cells from your child’s wisdom teeth now, while your child is already undergoing a procedure, you avoid the time, money, and potential complications of harvesting cells during a separate procedure. Also, by banking dental pulp stem cells while your child is healthy, you eliminate the potential for rejection, reaction, or disease that could accompany the use of donor stem cells in the future.
Stem cells are the superstars of today’s medical research.
Advancements in stem cell science represent an entirely new era of health care where conditions and disorders once thought untreatable can be successfully addressed. Unlike other types of cells in the body, stem cells have the unique ability to transform into specialized cells such as skin cells, muscle cells, bone cells, and nerve cells. This special property has made stem cells very attractive to doctors, researchers, and patients for use in the potential regeneration and restoration of human tissues. In fact, regenerative medicine using stem cells already shows promise in the treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes, autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease, neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, and even muscle and cartilage repair following injury—and there are many new and exciting discoveries on the horizon.
As more new and exciting applications for stem cells are unlocked, it becomes clear that retrieving and storing these unique cells is something all of us must do to help protect the future health of our loved ones. With limited opportunities to safely and painlessly collect and store these cells, wisdom tooth extraction is the ideal opportunity to discuss stem cell recovery and preservation with your family’s Stemodontics certified oral surgeon.
Adult Stem Cells vs. Embryonic Stem Cells
Stem cells live in every tissue and organ in our bodies and are responsible for repairing and restoring our tissues—a bit like an internal regeneration system. There are several types of stem cells that are formed in different locations and at different times during our development. These include embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and adult stem cells (ASCs), also called somatic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are responsible for the early embryonic development of all of our bodily organs and systems. Adult stem cells are found throughout the body and are responsible for daily healing and growth. Both embryonic and adult stem cells are studied extensively as promising sources for future medical breakthroughs because they are multipotent, meaning they have the ability to differentiate into various types of tissue including neuronal cells, cardiac tissue (cardiomyocytes), cartilage (chondrocytes), bone (osteoblasts), liver cells (hepatocytes), and pancreatic cells and tissue. The powerful adult dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) found in extracted wisdom teeth can be safely and easily harvested and preserved through wisdom teeth stem cell banking.
Personalized and regenerative medicine
Rather than simply treating symptoms, the goal of regenerative medicine through stem cells is to enhance and accelerate the body’s natural healing potential by replacing damaged or diseased cells and tissues with new, healthy cells and tissues. Current stem cell research aims to advance the therapeutic, reconstructive, orthopedic, and cosmetic applications of stem cells including dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) from wisdom teeth that have been preserved and banked for future use. Advancements in stem cell biology have already created successful therapeutic strategies and profound healthcare innovations which seemed impossible not that long ago.
Not all Stem Cells are created equal
In the language of stem cell science, potency means flexibility, and some stem cells have more potential than others. Unipotent stem cells form just one type of specialized cell, and while useful for therapeutic purposes, are more limited in their scope. Multipotent stem cells can be induced to change into multiple types of cells and tissues in the body and are highly prized by researchers for this unique transformative ability.
Scientists were looking for years to find a stable, safe, and easily accessible source for multipotent stem cells, because of their incredible potential for regenerative and personalized medicine. As it turns out, the pulp inside wisdom teeth contains powerful multipotent stem cells that are self-renewable and have exceptional stability for cryopreservation and storage for future use. Most importantly, dental stem cells (DPSCs) are easily accessible within wisdom teeth which would otherwise have been discarded as medical waste.
Bank the right cells at the right time
Wisdom tooth extraction during the teen years when the dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) are at their peak of health, is the perfect opportunity to harvest and preserve the best cells for use in future therapies. When we are young, our bodies house numerous healthy stem cells that work around the clock to rejuvenate and repair our bodily systems. As we age, our stem cells begin to decline in both quality and quantity, which makes it more difficult for our bodies to fight off disease or recover from injuries as we grow older. Banking your most youthful, healthy stem cells gives you the best chance to utilize personalized stem cell therapies for successful treatment of disease or injury in the future.