The Scientist (dot com) has an article about the prospects of growing new teeth using stem cells.
Of course, this would be an amazing new option for people who have lost teeth, and a research team from King’s College London has managed to get somewhere.
From the article:
…stem cell biologist Paul Sharpe extracted epithelial cells from the gums of adult humans, cultured them in the lab, and mixed them with mesenchymal tooth cells derived from embryonic mice.
After a week, the researchers transplanted this mixture into the protective tissue around the kidneys of living mice, where some of the cells developed into hybrid human/mouse teeth containing dentine and enamel, and with growing roots.
One thing to keep in mind – these teeth grew around the kidneys of mice, so we’re a long way from doing this for you in our Antioch dentist office, or any other dentist office, for that matter.
Still, it’s promising research and something to continue to study and watch in the future.