Injuries to the head and mouth areas are traditionally and commonly treated with bone regeneration procedures; these treatments usually involve a lengthy period of time, and are considered to be invasive in nature. Results from a new research in stem cell therapy may bring renewed hope for more effective, less invasive, and faster treatment for the regeneration of craniofacial tissues.
A clinical trial involving the regeneration of craniofacial tissues in humans was conducted by researchers from the Michigan Center for Oral Health Research, and the University of Michigan School of Dentistry – in partnership with Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. The participants in the study were 24 individuals who needed reconstruction work done on their jawbone after the removal of teeth.
The Stem Cell Therapy Advantage
Stem cell therapy has the advantage of using the patient’s own cells for the regeneration of craniofacial tissues, eliminating the need to introduce foreign materials to the human body. The cells used in the clinical trials were extracted from the bone marrow in the patient’s hip area, and were in turn placed in the areas of the jaw and mouth where regeneration is needed.
Promising Stem Cell Research Results
Results from the stem cell therapy clinical trial were promising, as the technology can potentially be used in the restoration of jaw bone areas where bone loss has been experienced; the stem cell treatment can be used as part of the patient’s preparation for a dental implant treatment to replace missing teeth. This is good news for those with missing teeth who have suffered from significant jaw bone loss, in which cases it can be quite challenging to provide missing teeth replacements that will feel and look like natural teeth.
With the promising results, and with more extensive clinical trials down the road, stem cell therapy is estimated to be part of the regular treatments within five to 10 years – for treating oral and facial injuries and defects in these areas.