When children first lose a tooth, parents often see it as a rite of passage because it is a sign of growing up.
If you’re like other people, chances are that you also hide it under your pillow at night and hope that the Tooth Fairy comes along while you sleep.
Fallen teeth are worth so much more than a dollar, as recent studies of National Institutes of Health in 2003 said that aside from human embryos , bone marrow, and umbilical cord blood, doctors can also extract stem cells from baby teeth.
The scientists discovered that the pulp of baby teeth is rich in stem cells also noted that SHED ("stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth"), however, is very expensive.
One such facility, called Store-A-Tooth, charges $1,749 up front plus $120 per year for storage. Another, The Tooth Bank, charges $475 plus $115 per year for storage.
And there's StemSave, whose services cost $630 up front and $120 per year. There are others within approximately the same range.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is yet to approve the widespread use and application of dental stem cell therapies, with only animal studies and limited clinical human trials conducted thus far.
“Think of banking dental stem cells as “biological insurance,”” says Arthur E. Greco, CEO of StemSave, a dental stem cell bank in New York City. He and other supporters of dental stem cells believe regenerative therapies are poised to revolutionize medicine.
“This area of study is moving quickly, and significant clinical applications may be available in the future,” says American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry national spokesperson Dr. Amr M. Moursi.
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