Lately, medical science has begun exploring the potential of stem cells. These are specialized groups of cells found in the body by two broad categories: embryonic and inner cells. The former is developed in the womb of a pregnant woman to facilitate the construction of the pregnancy organs (the placenta and the umbilical cord).
The inner cells are normally found in the body in places like the bone marrow and the root of teeth.
Benefits of stem cells
This is only an evolving field but it is already showing extraordinary results. Much amazing research is going on to harvest the benefits of stem cells, quite literally. These cells can be harvested to grow by rapid cell division while maintaining an undifferentiated state. In addition, the stem cells can proliferate into multiple cell types to facilitate a complete process of regeneration.
It is easy to understand the undifferentiated nature. For example, the placenta and the umbilical cord are not in bits and pieces! They are continuous organs, made temporarily and automatically by the body in a definite balanced state of growth.
Use of stem cells in dentistry
Among the other internal resources for obtaining stem cells, the dental pulp has been found to have very rich properties. The pulp is very dense in mesenchymal stem cells that are particularly suitable for tissue engineering.
The DPSCs (Dental Pulp Stem Cells) nicely differentiate into various tissue types such as adipocytes, chondrocytes, osteoblasts, neural progenitors, and odontoblasts. Also, extracting stem cells from the pulp is the easiest way to obtain them. They have also been shown to exhibit excellent ex vivo expansion rate and with stable transplantation potential.
This potential of re-growth is used by doctors to achieve amazing results. For example, bone regeneration is being made possible. This has huge application in dentistry alongside other medical practices.
So, if there is insufficient bone space for an implant, the dentist can now evaluate the potential to trigger balanced bone regeneration and ‘grow’ the bone space. In addition, the regenerative procedure is being explored as an amazing way to restore jaw bones decayed by a disease or affected by a trauma.
Regenerative dentistry by stem cell harvesting is still in a nascent stage. However, given the amazing potential of this natural super-resource, it is bound to be the next big thing in the field. All the research going on in the field conclusively proves the superb potential posed by these cells.
Nevertheless, it also requires specialized advanced training and a state-of-the-art facility. Moral and ethical issues are also sometimes raised. Surely, medical science will find a way of harvesting the best use of stem cells.