Many people avoid visiting dental clinics and dental cabinets due to their huge fear of pain and discomfort linked to dental procedures. This dental phobia usually becomes a reason of more serious dental problems since those people who suffer from it tend to fight against tooth aches and other dental pains on their own, until the situation turns into something really serious, so it becomes impossible to avoid visiting dental specialist’s cabinet anymore.
Such people look for new dental technologies without pain and unpleasant feelings, so they would never miss visiting dental care specialists and be able to prevent possible serious dental problems. It is a known fact that stem cells technologies can soon turn into a helping hand to those who suffer from dental phobias. According to the latest findings, this approach can give us the ways to forget about pains and other unpleasant feelings we experience when undergoing dental treatments.
Earlier this month, a group of Japanese specialists reported that they managed to use stem cells technology to totally restore tooth tissues of dogs. Therefore, the experts from Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories in Kagoshima and from the School of Dentistry at Aichi-gakuin University, are convinced that they are very close to developing similar kind of technology for people, and using stem cells it will soon be possible to forget about such common dental treatments as tooth filling, root canal, and many others.
In modern dental clinics, tooth decay is treated by removing a piece of pulp and its surrounding, which is always accompanied with pain (unless a painkilling injection is used) and psychological discomfort, and replacing the removed part with various types of tooth filling. Sometimes, very serious side effects many take place. ‘Dental cavities and inflammation of the surrounding pulp is a challenging public health issue, as tooth decay not only can cause a patient great pain but it also can lead to other serious health issues including heart disease,’ the study leader said.
Pulp is a very important part of our teeth. It is filled with sensors which give us an idea about what kind of meals we’re tasting (hot, cold, etc.), and also our tooth pulp reacts on the factors like pressure, etc. Tooth pulp is known as an excellent source of stem cells, and, as the Japanese researchers managed to find out, those stem cells can be used to regenerate various tooth tissues, this way helping to prevent the necessity of going through painful dental treatments. The experiments with dog teeth were successful, and the researchers managed to use tooth pulp for restoring not only pulp tissues, but the tissues of the whole tooth.
For the experiment, pulp from the root canals of 18 dogs was taken, from which stem cells were collected, and then in the labs the stem cells were treated with what is known as granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF). The results were received very fast, and to a great surprise of the scientists, it became possible to regenerate the whole tooth by using the stem cells in quite limited amount of time.
‘We also noted that the pulp stem cells treated with G-CSF yielded a significantly larger amount of regenerated dentin-pulp complex than those without it,’ the study leader, Dr. Nakashima, a specialist of the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, said. The scientists did not manage to detect any evidence of toxicity or any other possible side effects of the technology.
However, they are still concerned about the issues of safety, which, according to their comments, should be solved in order to proceed with the experiments and come to working with human teeth. The approval for new studies is expected to be granted soon by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. The detailed information about the study and newly proposed stem cell technology to replace common dental treatments can be found in one of the latest issues of the journal STEM CELLS Translational Medicine.