Stem cells are defined as precursor cells that have the potential to differentiate into a wide variety of tissue types. Although often categorized as either embryonic or adult, they actually represent a continuum of cell types that eventually transform into our end-product tissue. This means that stem cells can program themselves into any needed type of cell to serve the body. Stem cells come from umbilical blood, dental pulp in teeth, or fat tissue. All of these sources are rich in stem cells.
Tissue from extracted teeth and liposuction surgery adipose (fat) was viewed as medical waste that needed to be discarded. But now surgeons know discarding this tissue is discarding potential life-saving cells that can be used during other procedures. These cells can be saved through a secure collection, processing, and banking solution. The cell preservation is meant to support developing treatments, cures, and therapies as the future of regenerative medicine and life-enhancing alternative advances. Sources for adult stem cells are
- Affordable – less than the cost of a dental crown
- Non-Controversial – adult stem cells, not embryonic
- Plentiful and Painless to Collect – found in baby teeth or extracted teeth (wisdom)
- Our Precious Own – public banks do not hold the promise of our own cells
- Autologous – your perfect match with no risk of immunologic rejection
Why Stem Cells Are So Promising
Most cells in the body have already become what they are programmed to be and will not change (i.e., a heart cell will always be a heart cell, a liver cell will always be a liver cell). Stem cells can divide and change into particular types of cells, which under controlled conditions can grow into bone, tissue, and other organs. When these stem cells are developed, they can help repair the immune system or create replacement cells. The stem cells found in dental pulp and adipose tissue are a type of non-controversial adult stem cells known as Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC).
Mesenchymal stem cells can differentiate or mature into whatever cell type is needed in the body (tissue cells). The limitless potential of stem cells from dental and adipose (fat) tissue in use today includes
- Bone Regeneration: MSCs can differentiate to repair damaged bone and tissue.
- Muscle Regrowth: Attract and recruit other stem cells to the site and promote their differentiation.
- Ligaments and Cartilage Repair: Stem cells delivered into damaged tissues can release growth factors to stimulate the healing of the damaged tissue.
- Wound and Burn Healing: Release of growth factors that will cause new blood vessel growth and may provide antioxidants to an area that didn’t get adequate blood flow.
Types of Stem Cells
The stem cells from teeth are Mesenchymal stem cells, which have the ability to differentiate into bone, muscle, fat, nerve, and cartilage. MSCs are easy to obtain and often considered a waste product, but now the medical community sees the value of banking these cells for potential treatments, cures, and therapies in the future.
Your individual stem cells are capable of performing three important functions:
- Potential to transform into other cell types
- Can travel through the body to the damaged tissue
- Have the ability to attach to the damaged tissue
What is stem cell banking?
Stem cell banks collect, preserve, store, and deliver stem cells from individual donors for future use in therapies or treatments of diseases and even age-reversing treatments. The benefits are still not fully understood, but the applications for stem cell treatment and uses are growing rapidly.
What is biological insurance?
Stem cells are often referred to as biological insurance because banking your cells now ensures that you (and potentially your family) will have more treatment options for any future illnesses. It’s like an insurance policy or added protection in case you ever need additional medical support in the future.
Stem cells from teeth can be stored for decades, allowing each of us to prepare for whatever the future may bring. Plus, individuals can be assured that the safety, non-rejection, and life-saving potential of stem cells from our own body are properly secured, if they are ever needed.