HOME - Clinical cases - Oral pathology
 
 
07 February 2024

Stem cells in dentistry

Lara Figini


The characteristics of a stem cell are the potential for multidifferentiation (ability to differentiate into different cell types) and the capacity for self-renewal (ability to generate daughter stem cells and maintain pools of resident stem cells throughout the life of the tissue). We know that most tissues in the oral cavity contain stem cells. Stem cells can be classified in 2 main ways. The first is based on their differentiation potential: totipotent, pluripotent and multipotent stem cells. A totipotent stem cell can form all embryonic cells or extraembryonic tissues in our body. In other words, it can create a completely new organism. The pluripotent stem cell can form all tissues in our body, but cannot differentiate into extraembryonic tissues such as the placenta. A multipotent cell has more restrictions and can only form a specific number of tissues. The second way to classify stem cells is based on their original lineage: hematopoietic, epithelial or mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Deregulation of these pathways can lead to disorders including the risk of developing cancer.

Materials and methods

In a descriptive study, published on JADA, December 2023, the authors discussed data from comparative studies and analyzes found in the literature and reviewed articles focused on the identification and characterization of oral stem cells.

Results

All oral tissues, except enamel, dentin and cementum, contain stem cells throughout life. These stem cells self-renew to maintain a pool of cells that can be activated for terminal replacement of differentiated cells (e.g. odontoblasts) or to enable wound healing (e.g. of a dentin bridge in pulp exposures and tissue healing periodontal disease after surgery). Additionally, dental stem cells can differentiate into functional blood vessels and nerves. Early clinical studies demonstrated that transplantation of dental pulp stem cells into disinfected necrotic teeth allowed recovery of dental vitality and vertical and horizontal root growth in immature teeth with incomplete root formation.

Conclusions

From the data of this study, which must be confirmed in other similar studies, it can be concluded that dental stem cells can produce dentin and bones, as well as differentiate into blood vessels and nerves. These results open the door to different applications of these cells in the dental field.

Clinical implications

As a result of these revolutionary discoveries, stem cell banks now also offer services for the cryopreservation of dental stem cells. The future use of stem cells in dental therapies will depend on the collaboration between doctors and researchers to implement projects capable of understanding whether these treatments are safe, effective and clinically feasible.


Related articles

By UCLA School of Dentistry News

Dr. Le is the Norman Vine Endowed Professor and chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery / Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and the Department...


USA     03 April 2024 - 06 April 2024

American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry 2024

April - National Harbor, Maryland

Conference attendees will learn about the latest tech and trends from exhibitors that are industry-leading dental companies. This event gives dental professionals an opportunity to build on what they...


The National Mobile & Teledentistry Conference (NMTC), the only educational conference geared towards virtual and mobile dental care, is excited to announce our 5-year anniversary at our upcoming...


The University of Michigan School of Dentistry continued its leadership in important dental, oral and craniofacial research in 2023 with faculty publishing 263 papers, articles and reviews in a...


Roger Fillingim, Ph.D., has been appointed the associate dean of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness, a new associate dean role for the UF College of Dentistry, beginning February 1, 2024.


Read more

USA     22 February 2024 - 24 February 2024

2024 Chicago Midwinter Meeting

Early-bird rates available through Nov. 30

The 2024 Midwinter Meeting provides exceptional continuing education featuring top dental speakers, an expansive Exhibit Hall with the best vendors in the country and opportunities to meet old and...


USA     22 February 2024 - 23 February 2024

Save the date: A new era for prosthodontics Feb. 2024

95th Annual Meeting of the American Prosthodontic Society

APS Members and colleagues will enjoy relevant education in advanced prosthodontics and implantology, interdisciplinary instruction led by world-renowned experts, and networking and social events...


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Dr. Jonathan An from the UW Department of Oral Health Sciences to lead the first-ever study to evaluate rapamycin in older adults with...


The American Association for Anatomy (AAA) announced its 2024 award recipients, recognizing outstanding contributions to the field. Two UCSF School of Dentistry professors were among the respected...


The National Mobile & Teledentistry Conference (NMTC), the only educational conference geared towards virtual and mobile dental care, is excited to announce our 5-year anniversary at our upcoming...


 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

Most popular

 
 

Events