More and more oral surgeons are now offing their patients the opportunity to save their extracted wisdom teeth, and bank the stem cells they contain. Stem cells could be used in the future to treat a variety of health issues where tissue and organ renewal is needed. So for such things as burns, heart disease, diabetes and even stroke, stem cells could be used to regenerate damaged body tissue. And since these stem cells are from the person’s body, they don’t offer any immunity rejection issues that foreign stem cells might offer.
The wisdom teeth stem cell harvest is pretty simple. After extraction, the oral surgeon places the teeth in a special preservative solution and ships it off to a company which freezes the teeth for possible future use. This same process is done with baby umbilical cords, but instead of preserving baby stem cells, they freeze young adult wisdom teeth, which contain stem cells.
Both babies and adults have stem cells which then differentiate into different body tissues. For example, your blood contains 7 different types of cells which all arise from one totipotent blood stem cell. The hope for the future: medicine will develop and create new forms of stem cell treatment that utilizes own stem cells. Banking them for the future is a form of health insurance that patients may or may not need to use in the future.