We are just beginning to understand the incredible potential held by stem cells. Doctors and researchers worldwide are developing new therapies to address diseases we once thought were untreatable, and this is just the start! If you could use stem cells to preserve your medical future or the future of a loved one, would you? This question is becoming a reality as new methods for stem cell collection and storage are discovered. Our teeth hold an abundance of untapped stem cells that present an opportunity for stem cell collection and storage. For most patients, the only healthy adult teeth that an oral surgeon will remove in their lifetime is their wisdom teeth, making this the perfect opportunity for banking.
At Rio Grande Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center, we’ve partnered with Stemodontics™ to help eligible extraction patients harvest and bank their stem cells from the pulp of teeth that would otherwise be thrown away as medical waste. To learn more about stem cell banking, please watch the helpful videos we’ve provided, visit the Stemodontics website, or ask Dr. McGee or Dr. Steel if stem cell banking is right for you.
What are stem cells?
If you’ve heard of stem cells, but don’t completely understand them, you are not alone. Millions of people are just now learning why these cells hold such incredible potential for medical discovery. Stem cells occur naturally in the body and are responsible for repairing and restoring your tissues. Specialized cells in your body can regenerate and repair specific tissues; for example, muscle tissue cells can only duplicate into new muscle tissue cells. Stem cells are even more unique because they can become any specialized cell that your body needs. They are not limited to a single cell type, allowing them to heal and restore skin, nerves, muscles, bones, and much more.
As medicine and research advance, clinicians are discovering new methods for harvesting these stem cells, placing them in a controlled environment outside of the body, and replicating them for future use. What if we could harness the power of these cells and apply them in a manner that specifically allows our bodies to heal from diseases or injuries? Today, doctors and researchers are doing just this — harnessing stem cell biology to address diseases and disorders that we once thought were untreatable and opening doors for a new wave of medical treatment.
Why bank stem cells?
When we are young, our bodies house lots of healthy stem cells, but as we age, the stem cells in our body begin to decline in both quality and quantity. Every time your stem cells duplicate, they lose just a small bit of their value. That is why it becomes harder for our bodies to fight off disease or recover from injuries as we age. Banking stem cells as early as possible allows you to maximize their viability for future use.
At Rio Grande Oral Surgery, we believe that every person should have the opportunity to preserve their medical future. Unfortunately, there are limited opportunities to safely and painlessly collect and store stem cells for use in future treatment. That makes harvest and storage following wisdom teeth removal an incredibly appealing option.
How do I get started?
Signing up with Stemodontics is simple! Complete the enrollment process at our office before your surgical appointment. Drs. McGee and Steel will answer any questions you have about the process for collection and storage, and a member of our team will assist you in completing the online enrollment process. Once complete, the Stemodontics state-of-the-art laboratory sends a collection kit to our practice for the upcoming procedure. Once the tooth has been removed and properly stored, the Rio Grande Oral Surgery team will ship it to the lab for immediate processing and storage. Using your stem cell sample is easy. All you need to do is contact Stemodontics when you are ready. We will ship your sample to your designated healthcare provider.