First, it is important to understand that there are key differences between umbilical cord blood cells and tooth stem cells.
The type of stem cells found in cord blood are known as hematopoietic stem cells, and they can also be found in bone marrow.
These cells have potential for use in a limited number of treatments, including bone marrow transplants; however, the primary limitation with the use of these cells is that they cannot be expanded in a laboratory, which limits the number of cells that can be isolated. This means that there may not be enough material to perform a stem cell therapy on an adult.
The stem cells isolated from teeth are known as Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC’s).
They are not isolated from the blood in the tooth but from other tissue contained within the tooth itself. These cells do not have the same limitations as cord blood stem cells. Mesenchymal stem cells can form many different types of tissues, and therefore offer the possibility of therapy for many different types of diseases and conditions. These cells can also be safely expanded in a lab, so that there is not the same limitation to supplying sufficient material for multiple therapies on adults.
For more information on potential therapies click here.