COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER, NY, USA. Human molar scaffolding is a technique that directs the body’s stem cells into scaffolding that will assist in regenerating a new tooth. This innovation can immensely alleviate the need to go through the painful, expensive and tedious process of dental implants.
Edwin S. Robinson Professor of Dentistry at Columbia University and Co-Director for the Center for Craniofacial Regeneration, Dr. Jeremy Mao has developed a growth factor-infused, three-dimensional scaffold that has the capability of regenerating an anatomically correct tooth in a span of 9 weeks from the date of implantation. He used a method that was developed in the university’s Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory. He can direct the body’s own stem cells towards the three-dimensional scaffold which is made of natural materials. Hence, the stem cells will naturally colonize the scaffold, enabling a tooth to grow in the socket and merge with the surrounding tissue.
Dr. Mao’s technique has successfully eliminated the need to grow new teeth in a Petri dish. Also, it is the first technique ever to successfully achieve the regeneration of an anatomically correct tooth with the use of the body’s innate resources. This method definitely has a faster recovery time compared to current dental implant procedures. Also, its natural process of regeneration is more appealing and enticing. Currently, Dr. Mao is testing different ways in applying his technique to make it more cost-effective in clinical therapies.