Fotolia_45158534_XS-300x200Stem cell research has been a hot topic for the past few years. It seems as if every aspect of health care has been exploring the potential for stem cells, and dentistry itself has not been left untouched. So what is the potential for stem cells in dentistry? Stem cells are cells in the body that have the potential to generate into a variety of different types of cells. They can be found in a variety of areas of the body, you may not have  known this, but they are also located in the  dental pulp tissues. The dental pulp or area in the center of the tooth where nerve tissue and blood supply for the tooth is located. Although research up to this point has been limited, it is known, as stated by researcher Pamela Robey, Ph.D., that ” the cells from dental pulp in baby or wisdom teeth have the ability to make dentin and pulp and they might have the ability to make bone but right now that’s all we really know for sure.” Continued research and clinical trials are being completed to learn more about the potential for regeneration of bone as well as to evaluate any regenerative endodontic techniques. There are many companies that have begun capitalizing on stem cell storage which at this stage may be premature due to the lack of research for practical and/or possible applications of these cells. There is definitely a lot of room for research and if you are planning on storing stem cells keep that in mind. In my opinion, it is a topic that is incredibly exciting and worth keeping an eye on.

Human Mandible Bone Defect Repair By the Grafting of Dental Pulp Stem/Progenitor Cells and Collagen Sponge Biocomplexes. RICCARDO D’AQUINO, ALFREDO DE ROSA, VLADIMIRO LANZA, VIRGINIA TIRINO, LUIGI LAINO, ANTONIO GRAZIANO, VINCENZO DESIDERIO, GROGORIO LAINO AND GIANPAOLO PAPACCIO Clinical Study: Development of a Model to Evaluate Regenerative Endodontic Techniques Using Extract Human Teeth Human Dental Pulp Stem Cells: From Biology to Clinical Applications. RICCARDO D’AQUINO1, ALFREDO DE ROSA2, GREGORIO LAINO2, FILIPPO CARUSO2, LUIGI GUIDA2, ROSARIO RULLO2, VITTORIO CHECCHI3, LUIGI LAINO1, VIRGINIA TIRINO1, AND GIANPAOLO PAPACCIO1