In recent years, baby teeth have been recognized for having stem cells as well. The baby teeth that can be used to store stem cells are the top and bottom six (6) front baby teeth.
Stem Cells are cells that contain the ability to transform into a variety of other specialized cell types. That being said, there are several type of stem cells, each type differs in that some have unlimited capacity to differentiate into any type of specialized cell; others are very limited. In research, embryonic stem cells have been used. In daily life, stem cells are collected from umbilical cord blood after delivery. Traditionally, these cells have been used to treat leukemia through bone marrow transplant.
So, the question is, should you bank your babies’ teeth? The next question is which companies offer teeth stem cell banking?
First, it is unknown whether or not the stem cells from baby teeth will ever be used for treatments in the future. It many take anywhere from several years to decades until this will be known.
Second, the cost is quite expensive. It can cost approximately $600 for the initially, per tooth, with $100 annual cryopreservation storage fee. Alternatively, there are twenty (20) year storage plans for multiple baby teeth which can cost approximately $2,500. Each dental stem cell bank has different price plans.
Third, if you decide to store the stem cells of your children’s teeth, the above storage banks must receive the tooth within 48 hours. What does this involve? You must register with a tooth stem cell bank. Place the baby tooth in milk immediately. You or your dentist must use their collection kit which needs to be sent to the tooth stem cell bank via overnight mail.
So, should you use a dental stem cell bank? Ultimately, the decision is yours. Currently, many experts do not considered it to be worth the expense, as it is still unknown of what benefit these stem cells can be. It is unlikely to be able to treat leukemia via bone marrow transplant. However, it is speculated that it may be beneficial for tooth or bone treatments in the future.
If you are interested, the three (3) companies that store stem cells from baby teeth are:
- BioEDEN of Austin, TX www.bioeden.com
- Provia Laboratories in Lexington, MA www.store-a-tooth.com
- StemSave of Scottsdale, AZ www.stemsave.com