The days of root canals are, and filings may be shortly coming to an end thanks to a new clinical trial involving stem cells from baby teeth.
Your body has a lot of natural self-healing capabilities. However, one area that your body can’t repair on its own is your teeth. When a child injures a permanent tooth at a young age, the tooth will never be able to heal. However, in a new clinical trial, there has been promising results that show that the stem cells from a patient’s baby teeth can heal a damaged tooth.
The stem cells that are extracted from the baby teeth are known as human deciduous pulp stem cells (hDPSC). These stem cells may help to replenish the innermost soft tissue of a tooth. Once extracted from a baby tooth, the cells are reproduced in a lab culture. When the culture is developed, it is then implanted into an injured tooth.
To put the theory to action, University of Pennsylvania conducted a trial in China. Researchers selected 40 children who had an injured a permanent incisor but still had baby teeth. Of the 40 children, 30 were assigned the experimental treatment, and 10 were assigned to the controlled treatment, apexification.
Researchers followed up with patients a year later and found that those who received hDPSC had regained sensation in the tooth. The control group, on the other hand, did not experince the same effects.
Songtao Shi, the co-lead author of the study, explained that the hDPSC patients had living teeth once again. After the treatment, the patients responded to both a warm and cold stimulation. Shi confirms that after three years of follow-up data, it has been a safe and effective therapy.
Throughout the years, follow-ups with patients have proven to be a success. Those treated with hDPSC showed signs of healthy root development, thicker dentin, and increased blood flow.
Researchers were even given the opportunity to examine one of the rejuvenated teeth. One patient from the study reinjured the treated incisor and had to get it removed. Upon examination of the tooth, researchers were able to note an increase of blood vessels inside the tooth pulp as well as dentin and connective tissue.
While the results do seem promising, the breakthrough won’t help adults who no longer have baby teeth. In the future, researchers plan to test hDPSCs donated from others. However, there is a chance that the body will reject the implant because of the foreign cells.
For Martha Gipprich, a career in healthcare wasn’t something she decided to do but rather felt called to do. From the time she was in elementary school, Martha loved to help people and by the time she reached college she knew that healthcare was where she wanted to be. She attended Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she received her Bachelor of Health Sciences in May 2008 and then subsequently earned her Master’s of Physician Assistant in August 2009.
Currently, Martha is working at Sunrise Pediatrics in Reading, Pennsylvania as a Physician Assistant where she’s been since June 2016. Here she has a number of responsibilities as she works with both acute and chronic pediatric patients to help both evaluate and treat them. Martha handles reviewing and assessing all incoming patient results including lab tests, consults, and x-rays. She excels in fast-paced environments, and at Sunrise she sees up to 6 patients an hour to better serve the people in her care.
Prior to working at Sunrise Pediatrics, Martha Gipprich worked at Collegeville Medical Center from December 2014 to May 2016 as a full-time Physician Assistant and Office Manager. Here she balanced dual responsibilities that included working with clients and making sure the office was operating smoothly. She managed the healthcare staff and office, ordered office and medical supplies, and crafted successful weight loss and medicine protocol while also performing her duties as a Physician Assistant which included examining and evaluating patients, performing injections, and ordering diagnostic testing when necessary. She was also responsible for streamlining laboratory tasks like venipuncture, interpreting serum allergy tests, and processing blood and urine tests.
Previously, Martha worked for over a year as a Physician Assistant at Patient First Urgent Care in Pottstown, PA. While at Patient First, she met with an average of 4-5 patients an hour whom she diagnosed and treated across an array of medical needs include strep throat, fractured bones, and coronary syndromes.
Alongside her day to day work, Martha Gipprich’s natural inquisitiveness and eagerness to learn have prompted a love for research, as well. Through Drexel University, Martha has begun taking classes on clinical research in their Certificate of Study in Clinical Research Online program in the hopes of incorporating this into her profession in the future.
Outside of work, Martha is the proud mother of her one year old son, who she loves more than anything. Currently, Martha and her partner are renovating their home, which is taking up quite a bit of their time outside of work; when they do like to enjoy their downtime, they like vacationing in Asbury Park, NJ and visiting Longwood Gardens.