The Checkup

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Fun Innovations in Dental Technology – Invasion of the Clones

March 2nd, 2017

Okay, maybe not so much of an invasion, more of a foray. If you have ever had the misfortune of losing a permanent tooth there are only two solutions, an implant or dentures. However, recent advancements in science have found a possible third solution.

Did you know that teeth have stem cells? These stem cells give researchers the opportunity to grow human teeth! A new technique pioneered at the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory of Dr. Jeremy Mao, Edward V. Zegarelli Professor of Dental Medicine, and a professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia University can build an anatomically correct tooth in as little as 9 weeks once implanted in the mouth. Amazing, especially considering that at age 74, 26% of adults have lost all of their permanent teeth (National Center for Biotechnology Information).

Adult teeth can now be regrown in your mouth!

A Canadian dentist must have been ahead of his time in November 2011 when he decided to buy the discolored molar of John Lennon at an auction for $31,200. His hope was that he could clone the British musician by extracting his DNA from the tooth.

Science may not be able to bring the beloved artist back… yet, but we could potentially clone his teeth. Not sure why we would want to, but then again, not sure why anyone would pay $31,200 for a tooth! The tooth fairy might have to up her rates in the future!
 

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