Nowadays there are ethical methods for using stem cells in medicine, so there are new opportunities arising for dentistry - especially dental implantation - as well. Stem cells have already improved healing methods and we have a reason to believe it will continue helping doctors in every medical field, including the use of dental implants.
What exactly are stem cells?
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the ability to turn into any other kind of cell in our bodies, which makes them able to help any organ or any kind of biological function. The most common method of harvesting them is from the bone marrow, because they are present there in the largest amount, but it is also possible to gain them from the umbilical cord. These are the only two places in the human body where we can get ready-to-use stem cells from. Stem cells gained from other parts of the body need to be cultured and treated before they can be used for any medical purposes.
How can we use stem cells for dental implants?
There are more ways to make use of stem cells in dental implantology. The most obvious of them might be that any wounds that formed during the dental implant procedure can heal a lot more quickly when using stem cells. This will reduce the recovery time after a dental implant treatment, which makes the patient’s life easier after the surgery. Stem cells can also be of help when a bone augmentation treatment is needed before placing dental implants. If your tooth has been missing for a longer period, there is a possibility that your jawbone is not dense enough to have a dental implant placed in it. The procedure that needs to be performed in this case is called bone grafting. Stem cells are able to become the bone themselves, making it possible for the jaw to house a dental implant.
What does the future hold for dental implantology?
It is important to note that all these methods are only at a trial stage at the moment. Stem cells are already in clinical use, but it will take a while until they will be widely available.