Doctors extract stem cells to grow bones

Hyderabad: Three doctors, attached with some of the premier hospitals in the country, claimed to have evolved a teeth implantation procedure which could prove boon mainly for senior citizens.

The doctors used stem cells, extracted from human bone marrow, to regenerate bone cells that can be used to implant teeth in senior citizens suffering from bone "melt down".

The triad of Maxillofacial implants prosthodontist comprising Dr Vikas Gowd, Director of Hyderabad-based School of Dental Implant, Dr Shanker of Durgabhai Deshmukh Hospital, Hyderabad, and Dr Deshpande, Consultant, Lilavati Hospitals Mumbai, have successfully completed nine grafts on different patients successfully.

Explaining the procedure to PTI, Dr Vikas Gowd said that normally dental implants are placed on bones which are used as support. However, in many cases once patients loose their teeth the bones get dissolved or "melt down" which is called as "diffused atrophy".

This melting of bone is seen mostly among woman after menopause resulting in drastic bone loss thus making it practically impossible to place implants and so they are made to wear removable dentures.

However, with the stem cell procedure, the bone is allowed to grow naturally and then implants are fixed.

Dr Gowd informed that experiments in this regard have been successfully completed on nine patients so far, where stem cells were first differentiated into bone cells (osteoblasts) at `regrow lab` in Lonawala near Pune, and then injected into the deficient area of bone on the required position.

Once the procedure is completed bone formation takes place in 6 to 8 weeks time after which the implants were placed, he claimed.

The success of grafts were seen in nine patients so far over a period of one year, while studies are still on and the research findings will be published internationally, he said, adding the cost of this procedure is around Rs 1 lakh or USD 2000.