Stem-cell research may soon make it possible to regenerate teeth

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    Jul 02, 2013 1:35 PM GMT
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323297504578579590276114884.html?mod=e2fb

    Could the days of the root canal, for decades the symbol of the most excruciating kind of minor surgery, finally be numbered?

    Scientists have made advances in treating tooth decay that they hope will let them restore tooth tissue—and avoid the painful dental procedure. Several recent studies have demonstrated in animals that procedures involving tooth stem cells appear to regrow the critical, living tooth tissue known as pulp.

    Treatments that prompt the body to regrow its own tissues and organs are known broadly as regenerative medicine. There is significant interest in figuring out how to implement this knowledge to help the many people with cavities and disease that lead to tooth loss.

    In the U.S., half of kids have had at least one cavity by the time they are 15 years old and a quarter of adults over the age of 65 have lost all of their teeth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An estimated $108 billion was spent on dental services in 2010, including elective and out-of-pocket care, according to the CDC.
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    Jul 02, 2013 4:31 PM GMT
    In theory, stem cell therapy sounds like a good idea, but with the exception of regenerating bone marrow, we aren't even close to understanding how stem cells work. The truth is the majority of stem cell research is vastly unproductive and overrated, and has just turned into a huge money bucket without consistent results. From personal experience working with dozens of different stem cells in the past 5 years, I really doubt any kind of tooth tissue transplantation, or any other tissues for that matter, from stem cells is going to happen any time soon.

    The only reason why we are able to do bone marrow is because the body is able to differentiate hematopoietic stem cell transplants on it's own, but any kind of treatment that requires directed differentiation, we are incapable of doing with any substantial efficiency. Most of the time a directed differentiation will produce a heterogeneous product of different, unwanted cells that are then difficult to separate from each other and useless in treatments. We really aren't even close to understanding how to get stem cells to grow into cells we can use in practice.
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    Jul 02, 2013 5:05 PM GMT
    riddler78 saidhttp://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323297504578579590276114884.html?mod=e2fb

    Could the days of the root canal, for decades the symbol of the most excruciating kind of minor surgery, finally be numbered?

    Scientists have made advances in treating tooth decay that they hope will let them restore tooth tissue—and avoid the painful dental procedure. Several recent studies have demonstrated in animals that procedures involving tooth stem cells appear to regrow the critical, living tooth tissue known as pulp.

    Treatments that prompt the body to regrow its own tissues and organs are known broadly as regenerative medicine. There is significant interest in figuring out how to implement this knowledge to help the many people with cavities and disease that lead to tooth loss.

    In the U.S., half of kids have had at least one cavity by the time they are 15 years old and a quarter of adults over the age of 65 have lost all of their teeth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An estimated $108 billion was spent on dental services in 2010, including elective and out-of-pocket care, according to the CDC.



    I have read about tooth regrowth being just-around-the corner for 50 years, it alternates with just-around -the- corner flying cars. Basically just stories circulated to raise money.
  • The_Guruburu

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    Jul 02, 2013 5:19 PM GMT
    It'd be great if we improved our diets and fixed the problem at the root cause (har har) instead of investing in expensive research and painful procedures.
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    Jul 02, 2013 7:57 PM GMT
    I think my orthodontist just felt the earth move.icon_cool.gif
  • metta

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    Jul 02, 2013 9:39 PM GMT
    I wonder if that could eventually replace having braces as well.
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    Jul 02, 2013 11:43 PM GMT
    SkittleGangsta saidIn theory, stem cell therapy sounds like a good idea, but with the exception of regenerating bone marrow, we aren't even close to understanding how stem cells work. The truth is the majority of stem cell research is vastly unproductive and overrated, and has just turned into a huge money bucket without consistent results. From personal experience working with dozens of different stem cells in the past 5 years, I really doubt any kind of tooth tissue transplantation, or any other tissues for that matter, from stem cells is going to happen any time soon.

    The only reason why we are able to do bone marrow is because the body is able to differentiate hematopoietic stem cell transplants on it's own, but any kind of treatment that requires directed differentiation, we are incapable of doing with any substantial efficiency. Most of the time a directed differentiation will produce a heterogeneous product of different, unwanted cells that are then difficult to separate from each other and useless in treatments. We really aren't even close to understanding how to get stem cells to grow into cells we can use in practice.


    Well put. There's some interesting developments for neuro degenerative conditions including Parkinson's. I do think we are not far off it, maybe 10 years or so away. I'm optimistic. Medical science continues to amaze me - the human genome project still makes me wow.
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    Jul 03, 2013 7:15 AM GMT
    metta8 saidI wonder if that could eventually replace having braces as well.


    "Bitch, just let em' fall out. We can grow better ones later."
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    Jul 03, 2013 4:55 PM GMT
    SkittleGangsta saidIn theory, stem cell therapy sounds like a good idea, but with the exception of regenerating bone marrow, we aren't even close to understanding how stem cells work. The truth is the majority of stem cell research is vastly unproductive and overrated, and has just turned into a huge money bucket without consistent results. From personal experience working with dozens of different stem cells in the past 5 years, I really doubt any kind of tooth tissue transplantation, or any other tissues for that matter, from stem cells is going to happen any time soon.

    The only reason why we are able to do bone marrow is because the body is able to differentiate hematopoietic stem cell transplants on it's own, but any kind of treatment that requires directed differentiation, we are incapable of doing with any substantial efficiency. Most of the time a directed differentiation will produce a heterogeneous product of different, unwanted cells that are then difficult to separate from each other and useless in treatments. We really aren't even close to understanding how to get stem cells to grow into cells we can use in practice.


    Unproductive and overrated is a matter of perspective. If stem cell research saves just one life it is worth it. Despite the costs and failures, which are often seen with many inventions and ideas of the past, it doesn't mean we should stop trying and/or stop pumping money into something so promising and with so much potential, something that has most likely cured a few people of HIV(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/03/2-men-cured-of-hiv-lymphoma-stem-cell-transplant_n_3540295.html?ir=Gay+Voices&ref=topbar). Interstellar travel is something far more improbably than cures from stem cell research, but it doesn't mean we quit trying. And it doesn't mean the next breakthrough is NOT around the corner.
  • Suetonius

    Posts: 1842

    Jul 03, 2013 5:31 PM GMT
    What with some gray now appearing, waiting with anticipation for someone to come up with a stem cell approach to replacing old hair follicles with new ones. Whatever company does this will make $billions.
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    Jul 03, 2013 10:44 PM GMT
    AtlasHarper said
    SkittleGangsta saidIn theory, stem cell therapy sounds like a good idea, but with the exception of regenerating bone marrow, we aren't even close to understanding how stem cells work. The truth is the majority of stem cell research is vastly unproductive and overrated, and has just turned into a huge money bucket without consistent results. From personal experience working with dozens of different stem cells in the past 5 years, I really doubt any kind of tooth tissue transplantation, or any other tissues for that matter, from stem cells is going to happen any time soon.

    The only reason why we are able to do bone marrow is because the body is able to differentiate hematopoietic stem cell transplants on it's own, but any kind of treatment that requires directed differentiation, we are incapable of doing with any substantial efficiency. Most of the time a directed differentiation will produce a heterogeneous product of different, unwanted cells that are then difficult to separate from each other and useless in treatments. We really aren't even close to understanding how to get stem cells to grow into cells we can use in practice.


    Unproductive and overrated is a matter of perspective. If stem cell research saves just one life it is worth it. Despite the costs and failures, which are often seen with many inventions and ideas of the past, it doesn't mean we should stop trying and/or stop pumping money into something so promising and with so much potential, something that has most likely cured a few people of HIV(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/03/2-men-cured-of-hiv-lymphoma-stem-cell-transplant_n_3540295.html?ir=Gay+Voices&ref=topbar). Interstellar travel is something far more improbably than cures from stem cell research, but it doesn't mean we quit trying. And it doesn't mean the next breakthrough is NOT around the corner.


    I'm going to have to disagree. Funding for research is limited, and when resources are few, underproductivity is a very important factor on whether a field should receive funding or not. Survival of the fittest is a very real concept when it comes to who receives money, and people are starting to realize that stem cell research may not be worth the money we put into it compared to what other fields are producing. There's a reason why there are few private stem cell companies, and that is because the research is nowhere near where it should be to make it cost effective. Besides, I never said we shouldn't research stem cells, just that you shouldn't expect to see any new treatments anytime soon.
  • metta

    Posts: 39090

    Jul 30, 2013 5:57 PM GMT
    Scientists grow human tooth using stem cells taken from urine

    Team in China say their slightly unsavoury work could realise the 'final dream' of regenerating adult teeth to replace those lost through aging or decay

    "Scientists in China say they have successfully grown a human tooth using stem cells taken from urine."

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-grow-human-tooth-using-stem-cells-taken-from-urine-8737936.html
  • Fargo

    Posts: 144

    Aug 01, 2013 2:23 PM GMT
    SkittleGangsta saidIn theory, stem cell therapy sounds like a good idea, but with the exception of regenerating bone marrow, we aren't even close to understanding how stem cells work. The truth is the majority of stem cell research is vastly unproductive and overrated, and has just turned into a huge money bucket without consistent results. From personal experience working with dozens of different stem cells in the past 5 years, I really doubt any kind of tooth tissue transplantation, or any other tissues for that matter, from stem cells is going to happen any time soon.

    The only reason why we are able to do bone marrow is because the body is able to differentiate hematopoietic stem cell transplants on it's own, but any kind of treatment that requires directed differentiation, we are incapable of doing with any substantial efficiency. Most of the time a directed differentiation will produce a heterogeneous product of different, unwanted cells that are then difficult to separate from each other and useless in treatments. We really aren't even close to understanding how to get stem cells to grow into cells we can use in practice.


    I'm on the list for a kidney transplant, so this issue is of great interest to me on the hopes that one day it would be possible to grow an a replacement kidney in the lab without having to wait for years and without being on all these life long immunosuppresive drugs.

    What do think of advances in the field such as Lab-grown kidneys transplanted into rats:

    http://www.nature.com/news/lab-grown-kidneys-transplanted-into-rats-1.12791

    Doesn't that mean that differentiation of cells actually could work?
  • metta

    Posts: 39090

    Aug 01, 2013 2:32 PM GMT
    ^
    Yes, I wish they would hurry up on that one. A really big part of that is that people will probably not need immunosuppressants since the cells come from their own body.