May 24th, 2010

children of dune - leto 1

news: regrowing teeth!

So every once in a while, we need happy news. This totally qualifies. Gakked from [personal profile] fyrdrakken:

Technique yields potential biological substitute for dental implants

Short version; using a framework, they use stemcells in the mouth and regrow teeth there. The details are--scientific, so please read the article for clarification.

Okay, I think most of us--including me, who has possibly sent my dentist's kids to like, Princeton--don't think about great leaps in teeth, but this is--this is huge for my family. My youngest sister's teeth, both baby and adult, never formed enamel and years and years of a holding action finally conceded with pulling them and getting dentures a few years ago (she was in her early twenties). She likes them and she's so much less self-conscious now about her smile, and she's pretty much free of the constant pain she was in for several years, so that was successful and all but this is better. I know she was considering implants in the future, which are not exactly a fantastic choice; it's not just money or health that keep people from going for the implant option. My dad had his removed about five years ago, and my grandmother, and my grandfather, my mom's side is only slightly better, and you can see why I am willing to send my dentist's youngest kid to Harvard at this rate. Even my eldest niece and nephew came up against weird tooth issues, and we were sending them to the dentist from the first time it looked like they might get teeth; so far, Nick's have been mild.

(My middle sister has perfect teeth. We hate her.)

Growing teeth organically in the gum in nine weeks. Implants at best take years and hideously expensive, and this might be a cost effective alternative. In nine weeks.

This is great.

ETA: You know, there used to be a five things friday (or still is)? There should be a Cool Science and Medical Things Day of the week, to track down this stuff. I keep forgetting sometimes that amazing leaps are still happening every second.

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