Parents are banking their kids’ baby teeth as a stem cell ‘insurance policy’

saving baby teeth when to pull baby teeth
Image credit: Arakla

When Karen Davis attended a presentation at a dental conference in 2013, she unexpectedly discovered a service that could help her daughter, Madeline: storing stem cells derived from her teeth that potentially could be used in the future to treat her Crohn’s disease.

Madeline’s newly extracted wisdom teeth–baby teeth can be saved, too—were bathed in a special solution, loaded into a Styrofoam container lined with cold packs and sent to the stem cell company. There, a team harvested the dental stem cells from the pulp, then grew them in culture and cryogenically preserved them.

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The rationale here is that if you missed out on banking your baby’s umbilical cord blood, this gives you another chance to harvest their stem cells. “If their child later develops an illness that could be managed or even cured with stem cell therapy, this is an insurance policy,” says [dentist] Amr Moursi.

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[I]n all fairness, tooth banking companies aren’t making the kind of extravagant claims made by stem cell clinics, which operate in a gray area of the law and purport to treat everything.

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But the jury is still out if this is truly a good investment.

Read full, original post: Should You Bank Your Kid’s Teeth for Stem Cells?

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