Banks set up to preserve dental stem cells

In what could be termed as a preventive investment, from now on, residents of the city can bank their dental stem cells for future use for treating various issue and organ-related degenerative diseases and disorders.

By banking the milk tooth of one's child, one can safeguard his dental stem cell for decades together to be used later when required.

Stem cells are present in the tooth (dental pulp) and are found in baby teeth or milk teeth. They can also be collected for adolescents needing extraction of premolars while putting 'braces' and from adults when the wisdom teeth are extracted.

For the purpose, three dental clinics in the city have associated themselves with a Mumbai-based company providing the facility of sample collection from Metro cities and many other cities . These clinics are represented by Dr Sanjay Kalra, Dr Vaibhav Munjal and Dr J Nagaraj.

The cost of banking the dental stem cell for 21 years is about Rs 1.25 lakh.

Dental Stem cells are Mesenchymal (tissue-related) stem cells whilst umbilical cord blood provides hematopoietic (blood-related) stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cells have the potential to treat only blood-related disorders such as leukemia etc whereas, mesenchymal stem cells have potential applications in all other tissues of our body such as brain for treatment of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, eye for corneal reconstruction and liver for cirrhosis, said Shailesh Gadre Managing Director, Stemade Biotech.

However, a senior faculty member of PGIMER's Institute of Dental Sciences said that studies are still on and that it is yet to be known as to how much one can really benefit using dental stem cells.

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