Stem Cell Banking
By Mina Levi, DDS, 12/18/2014
Many people are considering the idea of “banking” or saving stem cells to be used in future health care situations. What many people don’t know is that baby teeth and wisdom teeth stem cells can be banked easily and can have many health care benefits. In this article, Dentist San Francisco discusses banking teeth stem cells with programs such as StemSave and Store-a-Tooth.
Why Bank Stem Cells?
You plan for your child's education, plan for their healthcare, too. From teaching healthy eating habits to instilling strong values, you already do so much to prepare your child for a happy and healthy life. Banking stem cells may not be as obvious as saving for college, but it could mean just as much to your child’s future well-being and quality of life. For decades, doctors have harnessed the unique ability of stem cells to treat cancer and genetic blood diseases using therapies such as bone marrow transplants which is a type of stem cell therapy. Today, more than 1,700 clinical studies are under way, demonstrating the use of stem cells to treat diseases, to heal injuries, and to grow replacement tissues like tendons, muscles, and blood vessels. This exploding field of research holds the promise that your child, utilizing a toolkit of their own stem cells, will live a life of unprecedented wellness extended by decades. Banking today means your child has the potential to benefit from the advanced therapies of tomorrow.
The restorative properties of stem cells:
Stem cells are unique because they drive the natural healing process throughout your life. Stem cells are different from other cells in the body because they regenerate and produce specialized cell types. They heal and restore skin, bones, cartilage, muscles, nerves and other tissues when injured. There are two main types of stem cells: adult stem cells, such as those found in bone marrow and teeth (see Stem Cells in Teeth),and embryonic stem cells (see Other Stem Cells).
Today, medical researchers are learning how to control stem cells and direct their growth into specialized cells, including: blood, skin, bone, cartilage, teeth, muscle and nerves.
As a result, amazing new medical treatments are being developed to treat a range of diseases contemporary medicine currently deems difficult or impossible to treat. Among them are:
- Parkinson's Disease
- Brain Injuries
- Heart Disease
- Muscular dystrophy
- Crohn's disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Neimann-Pick Type C
- Periodontal Disease
- Sports Injuries
- Cosmetic and Anti-aging Applications
These teeth are going to come out, so why discard them when you can bank them? There are many reasons why teeth are a great source of stem cells for banking. The most obvious one is that it’s easy to collect a baby tooth that’s naturally falling out or a wisdom tooth being extracted. More importantly, the dental pulp in your child’s baby and wisdom teeth is an excellent source of mesenchymal stem cells, one of the most well-understood, widely researched and promising types of stem cells. Plus, it appears that the younger cells are when banked, the more potent their power later on. Which makes sense: why else would a seven year old heal so much faster than a seventy year old?
If you have any questions or concerns regarding stem cell banking or extracted teeth, visit Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi, DDS on the web at www.minalevidds.com or give us a call at (415) 513-5066.