Back To News

A Glossary of Stem Cell Terms

September 22nd, 2018

A Cascade of Firsts

When your first child is born, you’re barraged by a veritable cascade of “firsts.” There will be the first diaper change, the first car ride, the first coo, the first tummy time session … the list goes on and on. Some of these firsts are more memorable, or even more developmentally important, than others. There is one “only” experience, however, that arrives in the form of an opportunity. This opportunity, making a deposit in a dental stem cell bank, has the potential to one day save your child’s life. As medicine advances, so does our understanding of how stem cells can be used within the body for regenerative and healing purposes.

Stem Cell Therapies

Stem cell therapies are becoming more and more advanced and are being integrated as possible treatments for many conditions. Mesenchymal cells, which are the stem cells that reside in dental pulp, may be used in the future to combat conditions like Type 1 Diabetes, corneal damage and spinal cord injuries. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare to think of their child facing major health issues like these, but banking these cells is one way to be prepared.

A Glossary

Before you take the first step in partnering with a dental stem cell bank, here are a few terms you should familiarize yourself with.

·         Dental pulp - also called the endodontium, it’s the center portion of each tooth, and it’s living tissue.

·         Mandibular third molar - the tooth bud of this wisdom tooth is a great place to find mesenchymal stem cells.

·         Regenerative medicine - regenerating cells or tissues with the intention of bringing the body back to its normal function.

·         Cryogenic freezing - the process through with living tissues, like dental stem cells, are preserved using liquified gases like nitrogen and helium.

·         Mesenchymal cells - the type of stem cell found in teeth. They are contained in the dental pulp and, when left in place in a living body, will eventually form blood vessels, enamel and nervous tissue, among other tooth components.

·         Pluripotent cells - cells that can develop into any other type of cell found in a body. Mesenchymal cells are considered pluripotent, which are more diverse than multipotent cells, which can develop only into a limited number of types of cells.