8 Tooth Stem Cell Questions From Mums Answered
It’s the number one health question on the lips of everyone, from parents and grandparents to prime ministers, medical experts, and sports stars.
“How do we stay healthy?”
For centuries we’ve searched for ways to treat the body for disease and repair damage and injury. And thus far, we’ve been creative in what we’ve come up with, to say the least.
In the East, practitioners of acupuncture insert needles into the skin at specific “acupoints” to relieve aches and pains and treat innumerable other conditions.
In some parts of Africa, witch doctors fight against witchcraft, casting ‘spells’ and concocting remedies, many of which derive from natural ingredients, to heal the sick and safeguard against evil forces.
In the Western world, many look to nature’s plants for medicinal purposes, whilst the majority opt for pharmacological compounds administered in the form of pills, capsules, or injections.
Based on synthetic, natural, or endogenous (from within body) molecules, drugs are by far the closest we’ve managed to get to maintaining a healthy body, consistently. But the million pound question – how do we stay healthy? – is yet to be answered.
But today, in the new era of personalised medicine and stem cell therapies, that may not be the case for much longer.
With such a shift in medicine coming, it’s only natural to have one or two questions. As experts in our field, we’re going to take a look at the most common questions we hear from parents regarding tooth stem cell banking, one of the most exciting health-related developments, paving the way to better health care.
What are the benefits of banking stem cells from baby teeth over other sources?
Tooth stem cells have gained a lot of attention recently. The main reason for this is because they are a particularly functional type of stem cell, known as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).
Unlike hematopoietic stem cells found in bone marrow and cord blood, MSCs have the incredible power to give rise to any type of cell in the body, from blood and bone to muscle and brain cells. This allows them to be used to treat a wide range of diseases and injuries including diabetes, heart disease, damaged bone and cartilage, muscle disease, and organ damage.
But that’s not all. Tooth cells come with several other key advantages over stem cells from other sources in the body:
- The best cells are young cells. And as stem cells from baby teeth are free from damage caused by ageing and pollution, they’re as healthy as they’ll ever be.
- Harvesting stem cells from teeth is the only way to obtain stem cells without the need for expensive or painful medical intervention.
- Storing stem cells from a naturally shed baby tooth requires minimal planning and can be tried several times over if, at first, we fail to find viable stem cells.
What are the advantages of using your own stem cells over donor cells?
Although the science of donor stem cell transplants is slowly improving, your stem cells are the only perfect and risk-free match for your body.
Transplants which use cells from a matching donor are called ‘allogeneic’. As the cells are foreign to the patient’s body, allogeneic transplants can cause an immune reaction or tissue rejection of the cells, for example as seen in graft-versus-host disease – a common and dangerous side effect of donor stem cell transplants. What’s more, the process of looking for a donor can be lengthy and often result in the failure to find a match,
Transplants which use stem cells from the patient’s body, know as ‘autologous’, significantly reduce the risk of immune rejection and the chances of transmitting communicable diseases.
At BioEden, we only offer the storage of stem cells for one hundred percent autologous use. That means they pose minimal possible risks and are available from the moment you need them – there’s no waiting in vain and there’ll be no need for immunosuppressive drugs.
How long will the stem cells be viable for use?
This is a common question we hear from parents who want to be sure the stem cells will still be viable once their child has grown.
As stem cell banking has only been around for 25 years, there is no scientific data to prove stem cells can be stored for longer than this time. However, clinical data demonstrates that cryogenically preserved stem cells have no expiration date. So for as long as you maintain your contract with us, the stem cells will be viable for use, kept safely stored till you need them.
Is tooth stem cell banking a cost-effective way to store stem cells?
You can’t put a figure on your children’s health, but the costs of stem cell banking can soon rack up.
That’s why we offer an affordable pricing structure to reflect the long-term investment you’re making. You can be banking your child’s stem cells from as little as a few hundred pounds in processing fee and then an ongoing monthly instalment that’s significantly lower than the average mobile phone contract.
What happens when I need to access the stem cells?
We understand that your stem cells need to be at hand should they be required for treatment. And so, the process of accessing them couldn’t be easier.
You’ll need to complete a request form and acquire a second form from the consignee (person/centre receiving the cells). With these two forms, we can free the stem cells from the bank, ready for the consignee to collect them for use.
What can tooth stem cells treat?
Since the discovery of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the year 2000, hundreds of clinical trials studying their properties have popped up all over the world.
Today, more than fifteen years later, substantial evidence is piling, proving what scientists have long believed about MSCs: they have the widest potential for therapeutic application than any other type of stem cells in the body.
Finally, tooth stem cells are beginning to move out of clinical trials and into clinical settings for use in treatments. Just last year a BioEden member suffering from diabetes experienced a dramatic improvement in his condition thanks to stem cell therapy using his own tooth cells. Cases like this one are becoming more and more commonly seen in the media, but you can find out exactly what the established data says by reviewing the publications on MSCs and tooth-derived stem cells below:
Publications on Tooth Stem Cell Therapy, 2015
Publications on MSC Therapy, April 2015
Support Evidence for Tooth Stem Cells, 2015
What makes BioEden different from other stem cell banks?
As the world’s first tooth cell bank, we are deeply committed to spreading the knowledge of tooth stem cells and making them readily available for the benefit of parents and families.
Our scientists pioneered the science behind extracting and isolating the cells, and so, our expert team know teeth unlike any other organisation. We don’t say this to boast – we simply understand what these precious stem cells are capable of.
This knowledge influences how we care for the stem cells. Whereas some companies store the whole tooth, and others store the dental pulp, we go one step further. By extracting the stem cells from the pulp before cryopreserving them, we ensure the teeth contain viable cells that test positive for Mesenchymal stem cell markers.
Who owns the stem cells?
It’s important for us to be clear that full ownership of the child’s tooth cells belongs to you, the customer. This will be the parent or legal guardian of the child until they turn 18. At this time, the ownership is passed on to the child.
There will, however, be the opportunity to donate any excess stem cells upon applying for BioEden membership. Through our partnerships with leading clinical and academic research centres, the stem cells will go towards helping support the research and development of real-world stem cell therapies and treatments.
Any cells which are donated will be done so in agreement with strict regulatory guidelines. Anonymity of the donor will also be assured at all times. Donating stem cells is not a requirement for membership, and if you choose not to, we will simply store the stem cells for your child.
It’s important to note that we continue to store the cells for as long as you maintain your contract with us. Should you stop paying the membership fee, we have no right to use the stem cells but may remove them from storage.
Contact us today to find out how we can help safeguard the health of your children by storing stem cells from milk teeth.