Stem Cell Therapy May Help Regenerate Jawbones in Reno

A research study has found that stem cells can be used for quicker and less invasive bone regeneration  in the medical field. Conducted at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, and the Michigan Center for Oral Health Research, partnered with Ann Arbor-based Aastrom Biosciences Inc., the clinical trial involved 24 patients who needed jawbone reconstruction after getting teeth removed. Your Reno dentists, Dr. Wager and Dr. Evans, explain how the study might improve the future of dentistry.

Why Our Jawbones are Important

Implanting prosthetic teeth is very difficult to do when there is a jawbone deficiency in a patient. Titanium posts are used in traditional dental implant procedures. Without the presence of strong bone, there is no point of attachment for the posts, so natural looking restorative options are reduced. The absence of dental implants signals the body to stop sending minerals to that section of the mouth, so further jawbone degeneration is likely. When jawbone loss occurs, people tend to look more aged and sunken in their facial appearance.

Details of the Study

Patients that participated in the study received either traditional guided bone regeneration therapy, or the new experimental tissue repair cells. The cells were originally extracted from bone marrow in each patient’s hip. Aastrom, a University of Michigan spinout company, processed the marrow using a proprietary system that allows many types of cells to grow, including stem cells. These cells were inserted into different areas of the mouth and jaw on half of the patients in the study. The results were promising, with the experimental cells promoting faster regeneration than traditional methods. In the future, this new process could prove particularly valuable in cases of birth defects or heavy trauma, where larger areas of bone growth are necessary.

Stem cell therapies are still at least five years away from becoming a regular part of treatment for jawbone regeneration. In the meantime, Wager Evans Dental provides comprehensive dentistry, including dental implants. For a consultation, contact our Reno dentist office at 775-829-7700. We are happy to serve patients in the 89502 zip code, and surrounding communities.