We can regrow teeth instead of relying on implants which have a tendency to fail.

I have a secret, and it’s right on the front of my face.

Years ago, I had to get one of my front teeth replaced. It was my first and only surgery.

I’m not alone, either. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, more than 3 million other Americans have implants.

Now, while I’m glad that my smile remains intact, there can be some pretty nasty drawbacks.

For me, that comes in the form of regular headaches every time a pressure system comes in. For others, it comes in the form of rejected implants, infection, and even heart disease.

Why do dental implants get rejected? It probably has something to do with how they work. A dental implant is, at its most basic, just a screw implanted into a patient’s head. That screw replaces the root of the tooth, while a fake crown provides the part that you see.

Thankfully, we may not have to worry about those side-effects much longer. Not because they are going away, but because they won’t be necessary. In the future, we won’t implant fake teeth–we’ll just grow new ones.

In the future, we won't implant fake teeth; we'll just grow new ones. #toothregeneration #perfectsmileClick To Tweet

This cause for celebration comes to us from Jeremy Mao of Colombia University, and it’s pretty miraculous. We’ve talked before about projects that help regenerate nerves, or cells of any kind, but this is new.

This time, the miracle medical procedure actually grows a new body part from scratch. Yeah, that body part may be a tooth, but I say it’s okay to start small.

Due to these new developments, all of the issues brought on by dental implants may disappear in the near future.

Say Goodbye to Fake Teeth

The new discovery could replace dental implants entirely.

The process takes stem cells from the patient’s body and creates a type of scaffolding where the tooth is grown. The whole process takes about nine weeks.

Contrast that with how getting an implant works. Some people have to have every vestige of their former tooth removed via surgery. Then, anywhere from six weeks to six months or more later, they get the ‘screw’ put in. Compared to that kind of time frame, nine weeks isn’t so long to wait.

Especially considering that what you get is a real tooth, made from your own stem cells.

Dentists observed successful results when the tooth was tested, which is a green light for this method to replace implants in the future.

So there we have it, folks. We started with nerves and cells, and we’ve moved up to teeth. Oh how far medical science has come; perhaps now growing an entire limb doesn’t sound so far-fetched.

I mean, head transplant, anyone? It’s very hard to get any crazier than that. That story has me seriously considering opening up an office discussion on the merits of putting your head on a robot body.

I was under the impression that bionics would become so advanced that we would see people with limbs like Luke Skywalker. We may still see that, sure, but if we can regrow body parts, we may not have to.

 

Will dentistry be the first healthcare field to make body part replacement commonplace?

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