Pearly whites could be grown in the lab after scientists discover way to split cells that develop into teeth
Dental experts have found a way to split a tooth into two functional teeth
They used new technique to extract the cells that will develop into teeth
Research done by the RIKEN Centre for Developmental Biology in Japan
They say they then successfully implanted new teeth into the jaws of mice
False teeth could soon be a thing of the past after scientists discovered a way to grow them in a lab after splitting the cells that develop into pearly whites.
Dental experts have found a new way to split a tooth into two fully functional teeth and then successfully implant them into the jaws of mice – a breakthrough which could help human patients in the future.
Researchers from the RIKEN Centre for Developmental Biology in Japan used a new technique of extracting teeth germs – the groups of cells formed early in life that will later develop into teeth.
The scientists said they managed to split the germs in two and then implant the new teeth to the mice’s jaws.
The study, published in Scientific Reports of the journal Nature, shows current treatments fail to restore the full functionality of a tooth, which makes naturally growing new teeth far more beneficial.
Other experts consider teeth a major target for regenerative medicine, as about 10 per cent of people are born with some missing teeth and many people lose teeth due to accidents or disease as they age.
The researchers set about trying to make new teeth from a single germ.
Teeth germs were removed from mice and were sliced into two with nylon thread.
The experiment took about 15 days to develop the germ naturally into two teeth.
The study shows the new teeth allowed the mice to chew and feel stimulus. However, the implanted teeth were just half the size of normal teeth.
Lead researcher Takashi Tsuji said the new method could be especially useful for children who so not have properly developed teeth due to conditions like cleft lip or Down syndrome.
Germs of permanent teeth or wisdom teeth could be used to develop new fully functional teeth that can be implanted.
Dr Tsuji added that they could soon consider using stem cells to grow more germs, but further tests are needed for the process.