Tooth Regeneration is Coming Along Nicely

Amongst the varied practical applications of tissue engineering presently under development, growing replacement teeth has consistantly been near the front of the pack. Given the lower levels of risk involved in working on less vital structures such as teeth and hair, it wouldn't be surprising to see these medical applications of stem cells and tissue engineering brought to widespread clinical use in advance of heart and nerve regeneration.

In any case, here is another step forward towards those shiny new teeth you've been waiting for, grown from your own stem cells:

Fully functioning teeth have been grown from stem cells planted in the mouths of mice, scientists said today.

If you head over to PNAS, you'll find that the paper is open access and the full PDF is available:

The ultimate goal of regenerative therapy is to develop fully functioning bioengineered organs which work in cooperation with surrounding tissues to replace organs that were lost or damaged as a result of disease, injury, or aging. Here, we report a successful fully functioning tooth replacement in an adult mouse achieved through the transplantation of bioengineered tooth germ into the alveolar bone in the lost tooth region. We propose this technology as a model for future organ replacement therapies.

The bioengineered tooth, which was erupted and occluded, had the correct tooth structure, hardness of mineralized tissues for mastication, and response to noxious stimulations such as mechanical stress and pain in cooperation with other oral and maxillofacial tissues.

Much of this paper is concerned with establishing that, yes, this tooth is functionally sound and fully integrated with surrounding bone, tissue, and nerves - which is a big deal. It's all too easy to envisage techniques of tissue engineering that fail for one reason or another to generate the correct form of large-scale tissue growth. Japanese research groups have been turning out a number of interesting and important advances in past years, and here they've managed it again.


Well iam already starting to save my money, once this comes out ill be off to japan, unless the uk has teh same treatment.

Posted by: mat at August 12th, 2009 3:21 PM

I've read the original article with photographs.
The grown tooth is smaller than normal. Medics haven't learned yet how to control the width of the tooth. And they also need human clinical trials. It may be a few years before it's available to patients.
It would be great when it's available I am also waiting for it.

Posted by: nikki at August 12th, 2009 4:27 PM

Well this would turn my life around, i hope it comes out soon.

Posted by: jane at August 24th, 2009 4:08 AM

Original article it looks more like it formed a single cusp of a multi-cusp mouse molar. The regenerated tooth is the same size as the cusp it replaced.

It's definately a developmental signalling problem. Perhaps if they implanted multiple seeds, one for each cusp, they may merge/fuse together during the growth process and produce a correct molar.

Posted by: Michael D. Houst at September 3rd, 2009 8:38 AM

As a dentist, clients keep asking me about this technology , I suggest they can opt for implants most refuse, so yes this advancement would bring a new lease of life into the dental community.

I hope they do clinical trials asap, seems there is a greater demand for natural teeth rather than implant fake teeth.

Posted by: beau at December 11th, 2009 3:23 AM

I have heard of such studies. And I to am waiting for the chance to get new teeth through t JJARD association states more on the research.

The faster they come up with this new technology the
more Billions they will make upon shipment of the equipment needed to supply the other countries.

I honestly, don't care who comes up with the devices first. I just know it should happen fast.

Takashi and Akimitsu get a move on! please

Posted by: rocknrobin at March 10th, 2010 7:11 AM

I too would like a new tooth having lost some in a car accident some 23 years ago but it would be wise not to jump into this too quick. I think there is too much emphasis placed on growing exact teeth. Rather it seems it would be better to culture an enamel root and place as a dental implant is currently placed and allowed to integrated. Then, you could use conventional methods of placing a crown on the stump or possibly re-mineralize it.

and this will be expensive at first AND you will still have to take excellent care of your teeth or this will fail too.

Also realize, there must be bone present for this to work. I've heard that bone grows with the tooth but am not sure. A possible bone graft would be needed if your tissue has resorbed too much. it will not be a simple procedure that's for sure.


Posted by: Kirby at May 11th, 2010 9:16 PM

I am missing exactly one piece or cusp of my molar that got cracked off while playing Rugby. It's very sensitive. If this technology can help me please let me know. I will gladly be an experimental patient.

Posted by: eric at March 22nd, 2011 7:13 PM

i wish and pray that this will be successful in Jesus name.

Also, if this regeneration happens for all organs, bones and tissue it will be helpful. We need not have anymore artificial teeth or organs. We shall go for natural ones.

Thanks to all those researchers/scientists. Thanks to Jesus in advance.

Posted by: Dan at April 5th, 2011 8:45 AM

Mighty interesting.

Just had myself a molar extracted. I do hope this will eventually be widely available regarding location and cash, in a reasonable timespan.

Perhaps in a decade or so?

Posted by: rem at August 5th, 2011 9:43 AM


Posted by: tyrone fields at May 29th, 2012 9:52 AM

I would also like to be informed about trial studies. I too would like to participate in those studies. - Shane

Posted by: Shane McElveen at February 11th, 2014 11:08 PM

I hope that they will soon be able to replace artificial or synthetic tooth fillings with natural grown dental tissue from your own teeth.

Posted by: David Baldwin at July 9th, 2016 2:04 AM
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