Most of you may have heard of stem cell therapy to regenerate human tissue to treat a variety of conditions. But do you know that researchers also believe stem cells can be used in oral surgery to regrow your teeth and regenerate the soft tissue of the mouth?
What are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are “unspecialized” cells in the body that don’t just grow into one specific type of tissue but have the unique ability to regrow into different type of tissues and organs. They can multiply even after long periods of inactivity and can be developed into the required type of tissues that are needed to repair damaged tissue or facilitate the integration of oral grafts.
Adult stem cells, also known as somatic stem cells, are found throughout the human body, including the brain, bone marrow, blood vessels, cartilage, muscles, and the dental pulp. With stem cell therapy, also known as regenerative therapy, we can stimulate the formation of new skin cells, fibrous connective tissues, bones, cartilage, lung cells, fat, ligament, and tendons. This means it boosts the body’s recuperative abilities and accelerates healing and regrowth after complicated oral surgeries.
Uses of Stem Cells In Oral Surgery
Our mouth consists of several different types of soft and hard tissues, which affect many essential functions like chewing, tasting, breathing, swallowing, speech, and smell. If any of these tissues suffer trauma, infection, congenital abnormalities, or tumors, it may not just affect the aesthetics of the person but also bruise their confidence.
Consider the example of a simple restorative dental procedure like a filling or a root canal treatment. During the procedure, we will remove the decay from inside the tooth and replace it with a filling material. If the infection has entered the dental pulp, we may need to remove the infected tissue and sterilize the dental chamber before sealing it. If the damage is extensive, we may be left with no alternative but to remove the tooth.
That’s because an infection causes pulp necrosis that results in the death of the cells and tissues inside your tooth, leading to tooth loss.
Even if you manage to restore the teeth, the natural tissues are lost, and the tooth is weakened, supported only by its surrounding nerves and tissues. However, researchers are now studying the possibility of regenerating dental pulp tissue material through stem cells found in oral and maxillofacial tissues so that the damaged tooth can repair itself naturally, complete with its blood vessels and sensory nerves, and become good as new.
Benefits of Stem Cell Regeneration Therapy in Oral Surgery
- Stem cells can help regenerate bone grafts of the sinuses and jaw.
- They can accelerate the healing process.
- Reduce swelling and post-surgical pain.
- Regrow whole tooth structures (though this is still in its research phase).
Even though stem cell research is still ongoing, there is high hope among the global dental community that stem cell therapy may enter dentistry in the next decade. However, you don’t need to wait 10 years to get excellent oral surgery.
If you think you need oral surgery today, call our Henderson Oral Surgery & Dental Implants offices on Green Valley Pkwy and St Rose Pkwy at (702) 270-2999. Dr. Huang can check your oral health and recommend appropriate treatment for you.