Stem cells demonstrated efficacy in dentistry
American scientists from the University of Pennsylvania (Eng. University of Pennsylvania) successfully restored damaged living tooth tissue using stem cells obtained from the pulp of baby milk teeth.
The promising results, published in Science Translational Medicine, demonstrate the high potential of stem cells in a wide range of dental procedures and in the treatment of certain systemic diseases.
Outdoor games of children are often accompanied by injuries of growing permanent teeth. Almost 50% of people damaged their teeth in childhood. If such an injury was sustained before the permanent tooth was completely formed, it could lead to insufficient blood supply to the root, to stop its development and to necrosis of the dental pulp.
Currently, the only medical assistance for such violations is apexification. This procedure is to stimulate the formation of calcified tissue in the area of the apex, the apex of the tooth that was lost as a result of the injury, but this does not guarantee the complete restoration of the damaged area and may also lead to abnormal development of the tooth root.
Treatment of necrosis in dentistry
The clinical studies described in the new article headed Songtao Shi from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as Yan Jin, Kun Xuan and Bei Li from the Fourth Military Medical University (Fourth Military Medical University) in Xi’an, China. Their results demonstrated the enormous potential of stem cells derived from the pulp of milk teeth in the treatment of necrosis in dentistry.
“This treatment returns tooth sensitivity in patients. They can feel hot and cold stimulation, their teeth are alive again, ”says Shi, professor and head of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
“At present, we have data for two, two and a half, and even three years, which have shown that this is a safe and effective therapy.”
Shea has been working for 10 years to study the possibilities of human deciduous pulp stem cells (hDPSC), finding them in his daughter’s baby tooth. Together with his colleagues, he studied in detail these cells, their functioning and methods of their use for the safe restoration of tooth pulp tissues.
The first phase of clinical trials was conducted in China. In the course of it, 40 children were injured with permanent incisors, but who still had milk teeth. Thirty of them were prescribed treatment using hDPSC, and the remaining ten as a control group underwent a standard apexification procedure.
The stem cells used in experimental therapy were obtained from the pulp of the patients’ own healthy milk teeth. Cells were cultured in the laboratory to increase their number, and then implanted into the damaged tooth.
Further observations showed that children who received experimental treatment with hDPSC developed more healthy dental roots, a thicker dentin layer and improved blood supply to the tooth were observed compared to the control group.
Initially, the sensitivity of damaged teeth was impaired in all the patients observed. One year after the procedure, sensitivity returned only to patients who received hDPSC. Examination, including the immune system, did not reveal any adverse side effects of therapy.
Scientists also had the opportunity to study the effectiveness of treatment after the patient re-injured the cured tooth and had to be removed. They found that the implanted stem cells restored various components of the tooth pulp, including cells that form dentin, connective tissue and blood vessels.
This is only the first step in the development of this direction of therapy. Using your own stem cells minimizes the likelihood of immune rejection, however, the treatment of adult patients who have lost milk teeth is impossible.
Shea and her colleagues are starting a new phase of research using allogeneic (donor) stem cells to regenerate dental tissue in adults. They also hope to receive FDA approval (Food and Drug Administration, Food and Drug Administration) for conducting clinical trials using hDPSC in the United States.
In the long term, scientists hope for a wider use of hDPSC for the treatment of systemic diseases with which Shi previously worked, such as lupus, for example.