AIIMS doctors use stem cell method to regrow teeth in children

New Delhi: Don`t worry about your child`s
loss of teeth or if they have immature ones as doctors at
AIIMS can regrow them using stem cell technique by just making
a minute slit in their root.

"We at AIIMS are treating children with infected,
immature teeth as a result of traumatic injuries, by using
locally available indigenous stem cells," Dr Naseem Shah,
Chief of the Centre for Dental Education and Research, AIIMS

She explained that the root forms the most important part
of the tooth. It anchors the tooth within the bone and houses
the pulp (tiny blood vessels and nerves) which extends to the
underlying bone and helps to nourish and give feeling to the

Any trauma to the teeth may lead to infection and death
of the pulp, infection in the bone and arrest of the root
development. Such roots are very fragile and may fracture,
ultimately leading to loss of tooth.

Conventional treatment for such teeth involves removal of
dead pulp from root canal, followed by sealing of the canal
with an inert material that occupies the space vacated by the
removal of the pulp (known as root canal therapy).

However, in the new treatment, after the infection in
root canals is controlled, bleeding is induced in the root
canal by intentionally puncturing the tissues at the root end
and a clot is allowed to be formed in the root canal.

The clot provides a scaffold into which various stem
cells achieved stimulation at the root end and the adjoining
bone. They then multiply and form dentin, bone or cementum,
which deposits on the weak root walls as well as causes
elongation of the root.

Explaining further, Dr Shah said, "The sources for stem
cells are the dental pulp stem cells, periodontal ligament
stem cells and bone marrow stem cells. Growth factors from
apical tissues and the blood clot itself helps in stimulation
of these stem cells and regeneration of the tissues."

In young children, front teeth are most often affected.
Loss of front teeth in young children and adolescents affects
aesthetics and may cause psychological problems.

She informed that this method was first tried on 14
children in the age group of 9-16 years over the past four

"Now we are practising this method of treatment
routinely for managing immature, non-vital teeth in young
children after getting successful results in almost all our
treated cases," Dr Shah said.

She said, "This is the most cost effective treatment that
can be done with stem cells. Here we do not need external
expensive scaffold material as in case of treatment of other
ailments with stem cells. And the outcome is predictable.
There are no side effects too."