The old practice of keeping one’s milk teeth under the pillow for tooth fairy to collect may have something to it after all. With dental stem cell banking (DSCB), one can store stem cells derived from a child’s milk teeth or even wisdom tooth of adolescents and adults below 30 years to be used in future for possible treatment of many diseases. Dentists are now recommending preserving milk teeth as an all time asset that can be used for treating the person or his/her siblings anytime.
Stemade Biotech Pvt Ltd, the first company in India to launch dental stem cell banking, has now initiated operations in city as well. It is part of company’s effort to enter non-metro cities. Kanchan Tiwari Choudhary, coordinator for the company, is trying to rope in city dentists in this effort.
The company has ensured that first the dentist themselves opted for storing tooth of their children. As of now only two parents have gone for DSCB, city dentists have begun to explore its pros and cons. They are seeing it as a big opportunity for parents who wanted to opt for umbilical cord stem cell banking but missed it for some reason.
“I wanted to bank the umbilical cord stem cells for my daughter but at that time (eight and half years back) this facility was not available in city. I was myself not very aware about it.
When I was approached by the company’s representatives, I readily agreed and got a tooth extracted for my eight and half year old daughter,” said Dr Sangeeta Madnani, a dentist in Byramji town.
She says she understands that stem cell therapy is still in research stage, yet it shows promise for treatment of certain degenerative diseases that are otherwise difficult and expensive to treat (…)
While parents may want DSCB as an insurance policy for their children, doctors as well as the scientists working in the field admit as of now everything is in research stage. In a few decades, stem cell therapy maybe indeed be available for degenerative diseases or for regenerating some organs.
The dean and director of Manipal Institute of Regenerative Medicine at Bangalore Ramesh Bhonde explained that each type of cell in body was unique.
In dental cell, the uniqueness was that they were derived from ‘neural crest’ (nerve cells) or what in scientific terminology was termed as ecto-dermo in origin. These could generate into all types of glands in body, brain, and hair. Others were mesodermal in origin and could be used for skin and nervous system treatment as well as complications of diabetes (like retinopathy) and of course disease like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, he said.
Stemade managing director Shailesh Gadre sees Nagpur as an upcoming metro and a big market and DSCB as a big leap in regenerative medicine. The company has collection centres in Bangalore and Hyderabad, besides the four metros and has added 25 cities in non-metro category in the last four months.
“Ours is the first company to start DSCB in the country from Mumbai and Delhi and now it has rights for entire Asia. Institut Clinident Bipharma, a European company, has licensed the technology to us. Our Cryo preservation bank is stationed in Chennai in a leased facility of Lifecell which is in stem cell banking already,” he said.