Stem Cell Banking at Happy Kids Dental
At Happy Kids Dental in Marylebone, we are proud to partner with Future Health Biobank to offer you the opportunity to collect and bank stem cells from dental pulp. These cells can be collected from baby teeth that have just fallen out, or from healthy adult teeth.
Future Health Biobank will then preserve those cells for at least 25 years as a sort of biological insurance in case you, your child, or another close relative develops a health problem and needs them as part of their treatment.
The key to safeguarding your family’s health
Dental pulp cells are found in both baby teeth and adult wisdom teeth. Stem cells that may be present within dental pulp have proven to be able to develop into bone, dental tissue, cartilage and muscle, and there is even evidence that they may be able to develop into neural tissue.
Since they come from your child’s mouth, they are a 100% match for use in treatments of various diseases and conditions, such as muscle, tooth or bone repair or heart, blood or neurodegenerative diseases. There’s also a good chance they could match another member of the immediate family.
They are also being studied for a number of conditions related to the connective tissues or neural tissues in the body - including type 1 diabetes, spinal cord injury, skeletal bone loss, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction and strokes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Which teeth are the best candidates?
Healthy baby teeth that are not affected by decay have the most potential for successful stem cell isolation.
We have found the front top and bottom baby teeth are the best candidates, which are baby incisors, baby lateral incisors and baby canines - so, 12 in total. They shed naturally between the ages of 6 and 9 - which is the most advisable time to look into stem cell banking. This means teeth can be extracted close to their natural exfoliation, but not too late as - like all cells in our body - stem cells deteriorate with age.
What is the process of stem cell banking at Happy Kids Dental?
- Once you’ve decided that stem cell banking with Future Biobank and Happy Kids Dental is something you are interested in, we will explain the process and put you in contact with Future Biobank to sign an agreement.
- After this is completed, a consultation with one of our paediatric dentists is carried out where we will make an assessment and advise which of your child's baby teeth are good candidates for stem cell banking and when extraction should take place.
- Your extraction appointment is scheduled and the tooth is extracted under local anaesthesia, using the wand. The tooth is then examined and packaged to be sent to Future Health Biobank. We will arrange for a medically approved courier to collect the kit from your home and deliver it to Future Health Biobank. At the end of the appointment, your child receives a certificate they can present to the Tooth Fairy so they don’t miss out on any rewards!
- A blood test will be scheduled for your child by Future Health Biobank, which needs to be done within seven days of the extraction.
- Once the stem cells are isolated and all tests have been carried out, Future Health Biobank will cryogenically freeze and store the cells in the vapour phase of liquid nitrogen where they will be kept until they are needed.
What research exists into dental pulp cells and stem cells?
Scientists have been studying dental pulp stem cells for nearly two decades. Many studies and more than 200 clinical trials have shown that dental pulp stem cells have the potential for regenerative therapies, which could treat a range of diseases and conditions from dental-related problems to nerve repair.
The research also shows that dental pulp stem cells share similar behavioural characteristics to mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from other tissues. MSCs are found in many tissues throughout the body and can replicate muscle, nerve, bone, fat and cartilage cells. They also have the ability to change how the immune system behaves and therefore show good potential in treating a range of immune disorders.
General Anaesthetic FAQs
Anaesthesia and sedation are safer than they have ever been. Paediatric dental anaesthesiologists have made it possible for millions of children - even the sickest babies - to undergo surgery. Like any medicine, anaesthetics have associated risks for every person - young and old. Scientists and physicians continue to look at the safety and side effects of all medicines that are used in infants and children.
Specially trained paediatric dental anaesthesiologists will carefully administer medication to help your child go to sleep, and stay safe and comfortable. Children react to anaesthesia differently to adults. The paediatric anaesthesiologist will monitor your child's heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and oxygen levels, and adjust their medication as needed. He or she will do whatever is needed to keep your child free of pain and their vital signs stable.