Stem cells offer tremendous opportunity for medical professionals to provide better outcomes for their patients, stem cell therapy is mostly in its infancy at the moment however there are constant advancements that could unlock new treatments in the future, which could allow medical experts to treat medical problems that we cannot treat currently.
What Are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are specialised cells produced by the bone marrow which is the center of the bones in your body. They can transform into three different types of blood cells, the first of these is red blood cells; which carry oxygen around your body and are the most common type of blood cells in your body. Stem cells can also transform into white blood cells that help your body fight against infection. Lastly, stem cells can also become platelet cells that help your body stop bleeding.
Medical Potential Of Stem Cells
Many scientists agree that stem cells have a promising future as they can potentially be used to facilitate the growth of new tissue for use in transplant and regenerative medicine. Stem cells could be used to grow entire organs, which drastically reduces the waiting time for people waiting for organ transplants.
Another medical potential of stem cells is the fact that new medical drugs can be tested on stem cells and the organs that may be able to be grown using stem cells in the future. This means that medical drugs can be tested on human cells that are part of a living being, previously medical drugs have been tested on animals which has produced mixed results; as some drugs may be effective for some animals and not effective for humans and vice versa. But if medical researchers were able to use human tissue more freely they could make medical advancements at a quicker pace.
Stem Cells In Dentistry
Stem cells have tremendous possibilities within the dental field, however, it is worth noting that stem cell therapy has not yet been perfected within dentistry; however, this ongoing stem cell research could allow scientists to achieve this in the not so distant future. Scientists and dentists alike may be able to grow the following using stem cells:
- Dental Pulp: Dental pulp is the innermost tissue within your teeth, it connects your teeth with the blood flow in the rest of your body. There is potential for stem cell treatments in the future to regenerate damaged dental pulp.
- Dental Bones: Stem Cells also have the possibility of being used to regrow damaged dental bones, which are vital for ensuring that teeth in a patient’s mouth align right.
- Teeth: Stem cells can also be used to completely regrow teeth, which can be beneficial if the patient loses their tooth for whatever reason. They could get a tooth grown for them in the lab and inserted into their mouth in the future. This can help people gain their confidence back in their smiles instead of being worried about people noticing fake teeth.
- Gums: Stem cells could also be used to regenerate and regrow damaged gums, as new tissue can be grown in the lab.
Other Medical Advancements In Dentistry
Computer Assisted Design And 3D Printing
Computer-assisted design and 3D printing have a vast range of applications within the medical and dentistry fields. This technology can used to facilitate the printing of organ replicas that replicate the functions of the original organ. 3D printing can also be used to create tooth crowns in a matter of minutes whilst the dental patient is still at their appointment, traditionally patients are usually given a temporary crown that is made by their dentist; they then have to come back to the dentist in several weeks when the permanent crown that has been made off-site arrives at the dentist’s office. This means that dental procedures can become much more efficient and the dentist time can be better optimised to help more patients; this has a potential to mean more people can sign up to dentists at a time, which is good news considering many people struggle to get a spot at a dentist.
Sometimes people live too far away from their nearest dentist or can’t attend the dentist because of disability. This is where teledentistry comes in useful as patients can communicate with their dentist remotely, they can face their phone camera towards the teeth in their mouth and allow their dentist to have a look and give recommendations if needed. Patients can also take photos of their teeth and send them to dentists for them to have an in-depth look at.
Sometimes knowing the best course of action can be difficult for even the most experienced dentists, which is why new AI tools are being developed to better inform dentists when they are making decisions; this can mean that dentists make decisions that lead to better outcomes for their patients. Artificial intelligence can also help mitigate the potential of human error on the dentist’s part and help ensure that they always make the right decisions.
In the past decade or so toothbrushes have been developed that have a range of smart features including a timer to help people keep track of how long they are brushing their teeth for, often this can mean that people are more likely to spend the full two minutes brushing their teeth instead of brushing for shorter periods. Some smart toothbrushes can also alert the user if they are brushing with too much force, which could cause bleeding or even erosion of the protective enamel found on teeth that can help prevent tooth decay.
Augmented reality is the same technology used to make Snapchat filters, however, augmented reality isn’t just for creating Snapchat filters of dogs it can also help dental students learn dentistry more effectively and interactively. For example, dental students can point a phone or tablet with the augmented reality software on at a physical model of a mouth and the software on the device can make it seem like the replica mouth is an actual person’s mouth. This can mean that dental students can practice procedures digitally before they are ready to try their hand at the real thing.
There is a wide range of innovative technological answers to medical problems that are being consistently developed every day. In the hopes that medical experts can better attend to patients’ needs in the future. Why not ask your local cosmetic dentist in Leeds what they are doing to stay on the technological trend?
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