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Tooth Regeneration Coming Soon

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the no-fairy-tale dept.

Medicine 289

Ponca City, We love you writes "For thousands of years, losing teeth has been a routine part of human aging. Now the Washington Post reports that researchers are close to growing important parts of teeth from stem cells, including creating a living root from scratch, perhaps within one year. According to Pamela Robey of the NIH. 'Dentists say, "Give me a root and I can put a crown on it."' In a few years dentists will treat periodontal disease with regeneration by using stem cells to create hard and soft tissue; they will take out a tooth that is about to fall, and reconnect it firmly to the regenerated tissue. Although nobody is predicting when it will be possible to grow teeth on demand, in adults, to replace missing ones, a common guess is five to ten years. Baby and wisdom teeth are sources of stem cells that could be 'banked' for future health needs, says Robey. 'When you think about it, the teeth children put under their pillows may end up being worth much more than the tooth fairy's going rate. Plus, if you still have your wisdom teeth, it's nice to know you're walking around with your own source of stem cells.'"

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289 comments

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My opinion (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26337935)

This research bites!

Re:My opinion (-1, Redundant)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 5 years ago | (#26337975)

At least it doesn't have to suck.

whatcouldpossiblygowrong? (0)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26337941)

Vampire teeth I guess.

Re:whatcouldpossiblygowrong? (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338051)

Edentulous. I always used edentate. Waddyaknow.

Going rate... (4, Funny)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 5 years ago | (#26337945)

My parents were good to me, they adjusted the 25-cents a tooth they got for inflation... wonder what I'll have to pay my kids?

Re:Going rate... (4, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26337985)

My parents were good to me, they adjusted the 25-cents a tooth they got for inflation... wonder what I'll have to pay my kids?

My six year old son says two dollars. But then he has a DS game buying habit to suppport.

Re:Going rate... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338019)

My parents were good to me, they adjusted the 25-cents a tooth they got for inflation... wonder what I'll have to pay my kids?

This sort of thing is likely to be pretty expensive. I'm thinking and arm and a leg (yours).

Re:A quarter? (2, Interesting)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338301)

I got a dime. Kids.

A dime?! Luxury! (4, Funny)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338477)

Back in my day when we lost our teeth we had to pay the tooth fairy $100 for each tooth we lost. She said the $100 was for "protection" - from tooth decay we assumed...of course we learned the awful truth when little Johnny refused to pay, and that crazy bitch knocked out the rest of his teeth with a baseball bat.

A dime?! That we could have been so lucky!

Re: Luuxury! (2, Funny)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338777)

I always read that with a Yorkshire accent.

Re:Going rate... (1)

passion (84900) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338803)

I actually cried when my teeth were replaced with money. Miraculously enough, when I woke up in the morning, my tooth was back, and the money had vanished. By some freak luck, I managed to keep all of my baby teeth in a packet after they all fell out... perhaps these will pay off? Who knows?

Well, now that just SUCKS. (4, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26337957)

Plus, if you still have your wisdom teeth

I don't have them ... my dentist finally convinced me to have them removed a couple years ago.

Re:Well, now that just SUCKS. (2, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338001)

Plus, if you still have your wisdom teeth

I don't have them ... my dentist finally convinced me to have them removed a couple years ago.

Wasn't there something recently about making stem cells from normal (I think) tissue in the reproductive system?

Re:Well, now that just SUCKS. (4, Funny)

JavaBasedOS (1217930) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338023)

Plus, if you still have your wisdom teeth

I don't have them ... my dentist finally convinced me to have them removed a couple years ago.

Wasn't there something recently about making stem cells from normal (I think) tissue in the reproductive system?

Why must it always boil down to choosing between something cool and losing our fertility? :(

Re:Well, now that just SUCKS. (3, Funny)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338125)

Oh no, look at all the waste! I knew I should have saved it!

Re:Well, now that just SUCKS. (3, Funny)

raddan (519638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338171)

That's fine, assuming you want a mouthful of sperm.

/me ducks

Re:Well, now that just SUCKS. (4, Funny)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338289)

My girlfriend swears she likes the taste... I've decided I can accept that.

Re:Well, now that just SUCKS. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26338481)

That's what she tells me and the rest of the team, too!

Re:Well, now that just SUCKS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26338485)

What will you do when she wants more than you can produce? She will suck you out!

Re:Well, now that just SUCKS. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26338659)

My girlfriend swears she likes the taste... I've decided I can accept that.

Give her a treat by drinking lots of pineapple juice or eating bananas or papayas. Also, lay off the red meat, alcohol, and coffee.

The fruits will make it sweeter while red meat, alcohol and coffee will make it bitter.

What will you do when she wants more than you can produce? She will suck you out!

Wheat germ can help you produce more.

Re:Well, now that just SUCKS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26338557)

Actually, the taste is really heavily variable, depending on your diet. (same applies to a woman's secretions).

Re:Well, now that just SUCKS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26338603)

It's funny because it saying "my girlfriend" makes it so unrealistic ...

Re:Well, now that just SUCKS. (1)

alienunknown (1279178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338009)

Plus, if you still have your wisdom teeth

I don't have them ... my dentist finally convinced me to have them removed a couple years ago.

I was just about to post the same thing. Oh well. I really don't miss the pain my wisdom teeth gave me though.

Re:Well, now that just SUCKS. (5, Interesting)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338209)

If you can pull stem cells out of a wisdom tooth I don't see why you couldn't pull them out of any tooth you wanted. Sacrifice a back molar then regrow it, along with any other teeth you need replaced.

Re:Well, now that just SUCKS. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26338321)

I don't have them ... my dentist finally convinced me to have them removed a couple years ago.

I had mine pulled years ago as well. Now I keep them on a chain around my neck. I get lots of dates now!

Re:Well, now that just SUCKS. (2, Interesting)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338583)

I've had mine since they came in. ( Well, I guess that's a redundant statement )

How/why did your dentist convince you to get them removed? Were they bothering you? Did you have other problems that they thought might be related? Has there been an improvement in your life?

I've been bothered by migraine and cluster headaches, and neck and back tension for a long time. However, they started when I was 13, about five years before my wisdom teeth came in.

Re:Well, now that just SUCKS. (3, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338731)

A friend of mine had his removed because he was having headaches. Since I was also having headaches, I asked a doctor and his reply:

No, that probably will not fix your head or jaw aches.

He still recommended that I have them removed for other reasons, including the fact that the longer you wait, the more dangerous it is. There's always a chance that removal will tear a nerve in your cheek giving you a permanently numb cheek, among other dangers.

As always, I am -not- a doctor. You should only take medical advice from a doctor.

With this research, I'm wondering if I should have waited, though. The advice above about getting the stem cells from another back tooth is a good idea, though. Even if they (for some reason) couldn't regrow that back tooth, I'd gladly trade a back one for a front one.

Re:Well, now that just SUCKS. (1)

xorm (847210) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338645)

I got mine pulled last week. News for nerds, _just in time_.

Re:Well, now that just SUCKS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26338779)

They can't all be winners, can they?

Re:Well, now that just SUCKS. (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338815)

I've got 2 left, I got one removed about 2 months ago, but by that stage it was really half a tooth and I had another removed 4 years ago

I have a friend who grew a tooth. (5, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26337965)

A couple of years after having a tooth extracted, a new one came in, and his dentist was going over his older x-rays to make sure that the tooth coming in hadn't been there all along. Apparently it's a very rare thing, but not completely unheard of, and we all grow teeth at least once in our lives.

-jcr

Re:I have a friend who grew a tooth. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26338037)

Did he tell you that while you were sucking him off one night? Perhaps it was a hint for you to knock your teeth out and go down on him with your gums like a toothless old hag.

Re:I have a friend who grew a tooth. (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338287)

and we all grow teeth at least once in our lives.

Three times, technically, though I'm not sure when the wisdom teeth start to develop. Could be they start at the same time and are just late in breaking through.

Re:I have a friend who grew a tooth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26338433)

Almost everyone grows milk teeth (except those with anodontia), most grow permanent teeth. not everyone grows wisdom teeth (quite common that people don't grow them or all of them).

Re:I have a friend who grew a tooth. (2, Informative)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338719)

The wisdom teeth are part of your permanent tier, they just erupt later. Back before we had good dentistry, it wasn't uncommon for an individual to be missing a tooth or two by the time they reached 25, and so when the wisdom teeth came in, they would rack in from the back and shift the others forward.

Now that tooth loss is uncommon, wisdom teeth are regularly extracted, since they're liable to become impacted if there isn't space (from missing teeth) for them to grow in.

And it's true that some people don't grow wisdom teeth. It's also true that some people only grow two, and some people grow six.

Re:I have a friend who grew a tooth. (1, Interesting)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338497)

Years ago, I worked with a woman who'd had three complete sets of teeth. Just after she finished getting rid of her baby teeth, her front teeth started to get loose. The dentist couldn't find anything wrong, but X-rays revealed that there was a third set of teeth growing below, so she had to go through the whole process again as a teenager.

Re:I have a friend who grew a tooth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26338533)

Apparently it's a very rare thing, but not completely unheard of, and we all grow teeth at least once in our lives.

People with anodontia would disagree with you.

Re:I have a friend who grew a tooth. (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338661)

Most people grow them twice! :)

Hm. Great (3, Funny)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 5 years ago | (#26337983)

Now the replacement after the painful procedure will ALSO be able to rot and hurt like the original. Fuck yeah !

(only half joking. I was really happy after a root channel treatment, as that damn think was finally dead and not able to hurt anymore. In constrast to the year before.)

Re:Hm. Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26338075)

Do people really not floss and brush their teeth? It's beyond me how many 30-somethings have lost teeth and have root canals! I still have all my teeth. Then again I don't smoke or drink coffee.

Re:Hm. Great (1)

DarkAce911 (245282) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338455)

Think braces back in the 80's and 90's plus soda.

Re:Hm. Great (1)

unfunk (804468) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338527)

I had a bike accident when I was 16, where I chipped part of one of my molars off, exposing the dentine (the soft stuff under the enamel cap). The dentist who treated me didn't do a terribly great job of fixing it up, so the covering she put on there fell off after a few months.
I didn't notice at the time, but eventually, I'd get infections every few months, as the tooth slowly rotted from the inside out - regardless of how much I brushed, flossed & rinsed. The doctors would put me on massive dosages of penicillin to kill the infection, and everything would be fine for a few more months.

This went on for 12 years before I figured I should see a dentist about it. He took one look at it and told me I had two options - root canal or pulling. The root canal process would cost in the thousands and there'd be a waiting period, or I could get it pulled by a colleague of his who only ever pulled teeth - nothing else, for $200.
Naturally, I went for the pulling option. The tooth itself had a huge hole in the exposed dentine and stank like... well... a seashell.
I've never felt better since getting it pulled.

I guess the moral of the story is that sometimes it just can't be helped, no matter how good your dental hygiene is.

Re:Hm. Great (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338529)

I had a root canal and I am in my 20s. I have never lost a tooth, and I have only had two small cavities in my life. The reason for my root canal was an abscessed tooth, and the dentist said he has no idea how I got it, since I wasn't in a fist fight, I don't have dental problems, etc. It was a very painful event (the pain became very unbearable by the time I saw the dentist and he released the built up pressure in the tooth), but it had nothing to do with brushing/flossing...

Not to say that no one has problems because of not brushing/flossing, just giving anecdotal evidence of a root canal that was unrelated to dental hygiene :) (only thing we can come up with are frisbee games in which I sometimes ran into something with my face... e.g., someone's arm)

Re:Hm. Great (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338593)

21 and one root canal here, right eye tooth. Tooth was apparently killed somehow while I was wearing braces. Was a very easy thing (easier than any filling), being as the tooth was already completely dead.

Re:Hm. Great (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338093)

On the flipside, many of my teeth required some sort of work done on them after a course of treatment by a dubious orthodontist when I was a kid. Since then, even though dentists have always told me I have generally good oral hygiene, it seems like I have to get some filling or something replaced every few months, which is expensive and occasionally painful. I would give a lot to have real, intact teeth again, and articles like this give me some hope that one day it might even be possible. (I hear you on the root surgery thing, though: been there, done that too.)

People don't eat food today, only GMO'd biproduct (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26338805)

Food does not corrode your teeth. If you think you have parasites or any kind of bacteria corroding your teeth, try this to remove it. Don't gargle the substance, use a funnel. Because most parasites and bacteria can't eat fiber foods, they are only attracted to sugars and that's how they base their operations. Mix 1 teaspoon of sugar to 1 teaspoon of turpentine, let it anneal for about 5 minutes, then poor that into a glass-held 8-ounces of water. The sugar bonds to the turpentine and when most bacteria and parasites sense the appealing sugar they eat and the bond breaks where the turpentine kills it all off. You should have a bowl movement within an hour, and you might not like what you see. I don't recommend gargling with this because of more effective treatments for your mouth, but then again this was more effect for your intestines in this way.

Another way of getting turpentine is pine-tree (needle) tea. If you over-boil the needles and branch too long, you get turpentine and that's why the drink was so helpful (if not the ascorbic acid) for people since the beginning.

Re:Hm. Great (2, Interesting)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338223)

Instead of painful root canals you'd just yank the tooth and grow another in it's place.

Re:Hm. Great (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338315)

PULLING A TOOTH OUT IS NOT PAINFUL?! aaaaaaaaaa aaa aaaaaa a aaaaaaa a aaaaa aa a aaaaaaaaaaa aa aaaaaaaaa a a aaaaaa a aaaaaaa a aaa a aa a a

Re:Hm. Great (2, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338359)

Less painful than some drilling, a filling or two, then later a root canal, or possibly repeated root canals if the first doesn't quite get it.

Re:Hm. Great (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338535)

during the process, definitely not. Afterwards, it depends on the person. (Me, sleep 24 hours and am fine. Wife? hurt 30 days)

Oral surgery, however, is different. It hurts when it happens, it hurts like hell afterwards, and Wendy's Frosties actually become medicinal by being the only thing you can eat to put any calories (even if they are empty) in you while at the same time being cold so you can leave it on the wound (with yummy results), causing 1 frosty to provide 30+ minutes of relief.

It looks pretty gnarly too. I took pictures. They're quite poplular:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/tags/aftersurgery [flickr.com]

Re:Hm. Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26338733)

Instead of painful root canals you'd just yank the tooth and grow another in it's place.

No sysadmin jokes yet?

painful root canals? (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338741)

Maybe I got lucky or something, but my root canal (in a back molar with about 4 canals) didn't hurt at all. It hurt before because of the infection, but a bunch of ibuprofen plus local anaesthetic seemed to do the trick during, and it didn't really hurt at all afterwards (just somewhat sore, but not enough for me to need any painkillers).

Re:Hm. Great (1)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338581)

"I think I need a root canal. I definitely need a long, slow root canal."

Nothing but good stuff here. (1)

I_Can't_Fly (1442225) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338017)

Now I want some nano-bot toothpaste stuff that works during the night. Little bots that clean and brush and fill enamel whilst we sleep, and then get swallowed and dissolve in the stomach.

Maybe one day.

Patent Applied For. :P

Dental genetics (4, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338069)

One thing that's often ignored is that some people have naturally "harder" teeth than others. I, unfortunately, am "blessed" with the softer variety. I put out the effort: brush vigorously, regularly, flossing daily, etc. and my teeth are just horrible, and probably a third are basically just plastic. I am one of my Dentist's best customers.

My wife, on the other hand, simply doesn't have to spend nearly as much effort on her teeth. She brushes and all, but she has gorgeous teeth and puts in only modest effort. I see the same in our children. Some have her teeth, put out little effort and consistently have nice, white teeth and no cavities, while others have mine, and brush regularly only to have cavities every single visit.

Finally, I can grow new teeth!?!? Oh wait, they'll be *MY* teeth? With *MY* crappy-ass tooth genes?

(to my wife) Eh, babe? (Ahem) Mind if I have one of your wisdom teeth?

Same Here. (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338191)

I inherited disease-prone teeth from my dad, but my wife has awesome teeth and hardly ever flosses. I'm 34, I brush and floss three times a day with the precision only a nerd can provide...still, I'm just barely holding my 'gum pockets' at 3mm.

I hope our kids get her teeth genes!

Re:Same Here. (1)

Arterion (941661) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338413)

Have you tried 30 seconds of Listerine after every brush? It's helped my teeth tremendously. I think the alcohol kills the bacteria.

Re:Same Here. (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338431)

I bet you don't give them as much attention as Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke did in High Anxiety. [imdb.com] That guy was really obsessive-compulsive about it.

Re:Dental genetics (3, Interesting)

Arterion (941661) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338391)

Don't brush too vigorously: you'll end up with with completely different problem of receding gums. If you don't have a really good electric toothbrush, get one. I use an Oral-B Triumph. I was totally amazed at how much I liked it. I thought it would just be a gimmick, but it's not. It's the best investment I've ever made into a gadget.

I also find 30 seconds of Listerine after brushing helps a lot, too.

Another thing I use daily is Johnson and Johnson Stim-U-Dent sticks. They take a little getting used to, but I really like them.

Will it fit? (1)

hannson (1369413) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338099)

Hypothetical question;

Lets say I loose a tooth in a Wii accident, will the new one be identical?

Re:Will it fit? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26338367)

As well as it fit when your girlfriend lost her panties to me in a Wii Boxing bet!

Who you gonna call? Toothgrowers. (4, Insightful)

N!NJA (1437175) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338131)

the irony is that the people who would benefit more from such advancement (the toothless poor who cant bite a beefjerk at the age of 21) will not be able to afford such treatment.

Crown? (4, Funny)

Samah (729132) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338137)

'Dentists say, "Give me a root and I can put a crown on it."'

This is the same thing that a king says when looking for a potential queen.

Re:Crown? (1)

psnyder (1326089) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338491)

Now it's time to see how many moderators are from Oceania =p

Re:Crown? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338501)

Give me a root ...

I guess that depends on your definition of "queen"....

Stem cell research is starting to look good (-1, Flamebait)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338163)

to me and I am a Christian who used to be against it. But if it can be proven to save lives and grow new bones and teeth, maybe even grow back limbs and eyes, it might be a miracle technology.

Stem cells need not be gotten from aborted babies but from adult cells like wisdom teeth, brilliant! I am sure even Jesus would approve of that. :)

Too bad I had my wisdom teeth taken out, they were impacting my molars. They looked like an octopus and the dentist/surgeon had a hard time pulling them out, and one was pulled out too late that it damaged one of my regular teeth and it had to come out too. Now my regular tooth that is gone, might be grown back in five or ten years in the future. Not that I miss it or anything, but 32 teeth is better than 31 teeth.

I just want to know if teeth can be hermetically sealed like in Star Trek so I can skip brushing them. I can't find any type of toothpaste that I don't gang and throw up on yet. I even gag and sometimes throw up when the dentist is just picking at my teeth.

If you use stem cells from an aborted fetus... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26338273)

... do you get baby teeth?

You could also tell people you are just like the aborted fetus used to create your teeth, you weren't born yesterday.

Re:Stem cell research is starting to look good (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338311)

Stem cells need not be gotten from aborted babies but from adult cells like wisdom teeth, brilliant!

FYI, the only fetal stem cells that have ever been considered for R&D or treatment purposes have been those of embryos created for in-vitro fertilization purposes that would have otherwise been destroyed anyway because the host mother got pregnant with one of the other embryos.

It seems to me that most of those opposed to fetal stem cell research would be thrown for a loop if they realized that the very same potential babies are being sacrificed in order to create one baby for a barren couple. Why is it 'OK' to aborted those babies just because they were second in line for implantation?

Re:Stem cell research is starting to look good (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338605)

I've got news for you. Most of us do know and are trying to save as many lives as possible [embryoadoption.org] . No one I've met - who believes that life should be protected after conception - believes that it's "OK" to destroy the unused IVF fetuses. Of course, I seriously doubt this information will have any effect upon your fantastically ingrained bias against "us people". You can make up whatever other "reasons" suit you...

Re:Stem cell research is starting to look good (2, Insightful)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338685)

An embryo is not a fetus. But you can make up whatever "definitions" suit you...

Stem-Cell research is a fraud. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26338657)

The news solicits the public for opinion to research in the favor of the public, yet the legislation is written to embrace the profit of pharmaceutical companies and general commerce of whomever uses it as complement to whichever other experimentation they required for unrelated classified work that the public may not approve for its moral soundness.

Seeing that you take the high road in terms of legislation, you should consider the nature of the artificial persons of the State that need ask permission to do that which is favorable to the public. Those corporations need permission to do good because it was never in their character and charter to do good; It's a subconcious money-making entity that is foreign to the people and I don't mean a complementary relationship between a fungus and plant roots, more like cows grazing grass faster than the grass can grow.

Re:Stem cell research is starting to look good (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338757)

When did Jesus ever say that using aborted fetuses is bad in the first place?

5 years my arse (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338195)

When are journalists going to learn that it takes 10 years to get from the lab to market? And when it comes to anything medical, add another 10 years for clinical trials.

Re:5 years my arse (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338821)

Don't forget about the basic rule of scientific research - triple the amount of time you think it will take. So, when this researcher says that he'll be growing teeth in one year, he really means three. So we'll really see this on the (free) market in 20-25 years.

Fortunately, my dentist has a drug habit to support :)

So how about people like me? (1)

DentInYourHead (1331735) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338199)

I never grew wisdom teeth. Any. Although it does say baby teeth can be used as well...and I have four of those intact still since I never grew permanents for those. But do those have to be pulled?? Nooo thanks.

Re:So how about people like me? (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338467)

Same here, but by now, there's only one left. (Two decayed and a third suddenly crumbled on me and the remainder had to be pulled because there wasn't enough left to be worth salvaging.)

Re:So how about people like me? (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338773)

I never grew wisdom teeth. Any

Try counting. Mine came in without my even noticing, except for the last one, when I noticed that my jaw ached a bit when I yawned.

Damn... (3, Insightful)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338251)

...I'm glad that I've still got all four of my wisdom teeth! Sounds like they will be good insurance towards healthy teeth in my later years. Actually, I wonder if this biotechnology will spell the end to the "convenience" removal of wisdom teeth.

Re:Damn... (1)

collinstocks (1295204) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338427)

I don't know if it is so much convenience as necessity. I might be an exceptional case, but I know that I will eventually have to have my wisdom teeth removed because they are facing the wrong direction (outward). As long as they don't grow in, there will not be an issue, but once they start (if they ever do), they could damage nerves in my mouth. Right now, though, I'm waiting for my jaw to stop growing.

Again, this might be an exceptional case, unlike others where wisdom teeth are removed. However, I have a friend with the same problem, so maybe this is not so unusual.

Re:Damn... (1)

FluffyArmada (715337) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338665)

My understanding is that humans have these "extra" wisdom teeth now because of our softer, easier-to-chew diets. A long time ago, when we would have to eat more interesting things, the teeth would naturally wear down enough that there would be plenty of space for the wisdom teeth, but now, when they try to come in, they don't have enough room, and it is not uncommon for them to grow at an unpleasant angle and actually impact themselves into the surrounding teeth- or worse, the jaw bone behind them. That is my very basic understanding from the oral surgeon who removed mine a few months ago. It was completely painless (unless you're extremely bothered by the insertion of a small IV). Basically, if you don't run into problems from the wisdom teeth embedding themselves into other parts of your mouth, most of your issues will come from cavities, infections, etc due to their location in the far back of the mouth, where they are hard to access to brush and clean properly. Luckily, if you have them removed relatively early in life, you will usually have very little to no complications, due to the fact that the roots of the wisdom teeth usually take a while to actually connect to the nerve in the tissue surrounding your jaw bone. When this happens is usually different depending on who you are, but I'm guessing it usually happens in the late teenage years to the early 20s. Anywho, my $.02 is this: talk to your dentist and if he says you should have them removed, DO IT, because the longer you wait, the worst it will be. If you do it early on, like I was lucky enough to, it is nothing at all. Hell, I even got to take codeine and eat nothing but cottage cheese for two days.

Re:Damn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26338489)

...I'm glad that I've still got all four of my wisdom teeth! Sounds like they will be good insurance towards healthy teeth in my later years. Actually, I wonder if this biotechnology will spell the end to the "convenience" removal of wisdom teeth.

There's nothing convenient about an impacted wisdom tooth. They aren't removed for "convenience" in any sense of the word.

Re:Damn... (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338553)

In many cases the removal of wisdom teeth is absolute necessity. There are many people born whose jaws simply are not large enough to accomodate the addition of wisdom teeth without serious dental problems. Add to that the number of people who have wisdom teeth growing in impacted, and there's a good reason why their removal is fairly standard.

I wouldn't have had mine removed, but unfortunately my jaw is both too small and the lower ones were impacted. Nothing like having 4 teeth extracted prior to eruption and finding out afterward that hydrocodone doesn't bind in you the way it should, hence providing zero pain relief. That was fun.

Re:Damn... (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338591)

To echo the other replies...

I had no room for my wisdom teeth -- first time someone told me I *didn't* have a big mouth -- and they came in horribly impacted, and even fused to the bone. It was not a "convenience" removal.

Hooray (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338269)

My teeth are crap.

I'm combining a weak enamel with deep crevices, a tendency to eat wrong and brush too rarely or too superficially, and apparently I gnash my teeth while asleep.

This degree of regeneration would be worth a great lot to me...

At a quarter a pop... (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338305)

the tooth fairy cuold really clean up with a nice profit margin.

Knew it (1)

SpitfireSMS (1388089) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338323)

"Plus, if you still have your wisdom teeth, it's nice to know you're walking around with your own source of stem cells."

I knew I was keeping those for a reason

Where's my GM Strep Mutans? (5, Informative)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338337)

Screw growing back teeth, I want to know when we can have the genetically modified Streptococcus Mutans. Like 5 years ago, researchers announced they'd developed a strain of s.mutans (the bacteria responsible for most tooth decay) that doesn't excrete lactic acid. Once subjects' mouths were inoculated, the modified s.mutans completely took over, pushing the damaging strain out. Once inoculated you're theoretically 99% cavity free for the rest of your life. Is the ADA lobbying to keep it off the market because fillings and such are such a big money maker? Wouldn't surprise me.

Re:Where's my GM Strep Mutans? (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338435)

Sounds like a good idea, but I think nature plays hard ball and if you have a bacteria where there is a potential food source they will evolve back to eat it. That is just my guess from putting bacteria on on mixed media and when the good stuff runs out, the ones that eat the regular food die and the mutants that eat the other stuff thrive. Just a guess though. I personally would rather have sharks teeth that regrow every few months.

Re:Where's my GM Strep Mutans? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338649)

The new bacteria might eat the same food and metabolize it a different way.

Re:Where's my GM Strep Mutans? (1)

k-macjapan (1271084) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338677)

I personally would rather have sharks teeth that regrow every few months.

Puts an entire new twist on old adage 'Just don't bite it'...

Re:Where's my GM Strep Mutans? (1)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338631)

I have a feeling that putting GM bacteria in people's mouths probably requires at least 5 years to get from research announcement to FDA approval.

Re:Where's my GM Strep Mutans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26338641)

Bacteria evolve very quickly. That wouldn't work forever. It would probably stop working within a year, if not a few weeks.

Re:Where's my GM Strep Mutans? (4, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338663)

> Is the ADA lobbying to keep it off the market because fillings and such are such a big
> money maker?

You mean the way they lobbied to block flouridation and flouride treatments?

(Hint for the dense: they didn't. Quite the contrary.)

A cuter title would've been, (1)

psnyder (1326089) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338449)

Tooth Regeneration Coming Thoon

Better is "Researchers almost catch-up to Germain" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26338595)

If you read about Count Saint Germain, then you'll know that he was around from the most inspired years of Deutchland and the surrounding areas from the years 1200 to present. His longevity was known only to his students, but that was not conferred to them. Supposedly among his many talents, was re-growing all the teeth using what the students dubbed "his master's white drops." Apparently, when a certain elixir was drunk, then within the day all your teeth fell out and then new ones regrew in the same places within 1 Year. Now, let's reason that if this was a hoax and the witnesses to this were idiots or gullible scientists, then perhaps it could have been a kind of 1-time wash that stopped all the bacteria from corroding the enamel and caused each tooth add new layers of calcium at such a rate that it appeared the old teeth dropped out and new ones took their place. But then again, all the scripture points that the physical tooth would simply fall out and a new one would come in its place. I have experienced to witness of this before over in the California city of Anaheim.

A friend in a glass-shoppe had verry small teeth; not large incisors, and somewhat delicate molars. Every month one of them would develop a wiggle and fall-out. Within maybe 3 more months a new one would poke through the gum. In all, maybe he would lose and regrew maybe 4 teeth a year: all baby teeth. Adult teeth never would grow, just an endless stream of baby teeth. His smile was perfect and nothing was out of order other than they appeared slightly small if you looked too hard.

Count Saint Germain wasn't far off from this, if ever there was an elixir that he made to entice this to happen.

At long last . . . (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26338537)

The British finally have something to celebrate!

Ultrasound can regrow teeth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26338633)

Why not just regrow the tooth as the Canda researchers patented in 2006m care of Nature News:
"A group of researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton have filed a patent for a low-intensity pulsed ultrasound tool that can re-grow teeth [naturalnews.com] and bones

It's about time (4, Interesting)

symbolic (11752) | more than 5 years ago | (#26338701)

One thing that has always puzzled me is that despite all the advances in technology, getting a crown is still VERY expensive. There has been no appreciable reduction in cost due to better manufacturing techniques, or better/cheaper materials. Compare this to say, lasik - when it was first introduced it cost about 4K per eye I think. Now it's a few hundred.

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