Have you ever watched something on TV or read about something to do with modern science and asked yourself, “What can’t they do nowadays?” Most of these moments come from the advancements in genetics; let’s face it, growing an ear on the side of a rat gets our attention.
Well, prepare to be amazed again because the scientists at Kings College, London’s Dental Institute, (yes, they have those there) have succeeded in engineering hybrid human-mouse tooth enamel.
“Why would they be doing this,” you might be asking yourself, or “Who does that?” Well the idea is that in the future it could replace dentures by substituting molars grown by “seeds” planted into the jaw. The denture-maker may be going straight to the unemployment line.
“Epithelial [surface lining] cells derived from adult human gum tissue are capable of responding to tooth-inducing signals from embryonic tooth mesenchyme in an appropriate to contribute to tooth crown and root formation … These easily accessible epithelial cells are thus a realistic source for consideration in human biotooth formation,” explains Professor Paul Sharpe, the lead researcher at King’s College.
Now, you may be repulsed a bit by having a human-rodent hybrid teeth in your mouth, and if you’re not, then, well OK. But the thing to remember here is that, short of dental implants, there really is no substitute for real teeth.
Now the real challenge that comes after the marketing nightmare is how to get human gums receptive to growing these teeth. The trick is the fool the body into thinking that it has to re-grow these teeth, sort of like resetting your genetic clock. So, there’s still some work to be done.
In the meantime, keep in mind that Dr. Matthews provides dental implant procedures at his Austin dentist office which are a much better alternative to conventional dentures and the closest thing to real teeth that modern science has yet perfected. Come in and see him today.