Scientists make molar breakthrough

Advances in stem cell research have allowed British scientists to grow teeth using DNA, meaning dentures could soon be a thing of the past.

    Britons like PM Tony Blair could stay smiling longer

    British people over the age of 50 lose an average of 12 teeth out of 32.

     

    And for many, the thought of wearing dentures is difficult to swallow.

     

    Researchers at Kings College London say scientific advances mean that one day people could grow their own replacement teeth.

     

    Paul Sharpe, head of division of Craniofacial Biology and Biomaterials at the Dental Institute at King's College, says scientists used their knowledge of how teeth develop in the embryo to produce cells that could be transplanted into the mouth.

     

    Transplant

     

    The transplant develops into a tooth, just as it would in the embryo.

     

    The research has been tested successfully on mice, and scientists hope to begin trials on humans in the next two years.

     

    Sharpe's team has recently been awarded $885,000 to continue their research.

     

    So far, they've successfully grown molars - the large grinding teeth at the back of the mouth - but incisors and canines are proving more difficult.

     

    It reportedly takes two months for a tooth to fully develop.

     

    The technology could be available to the public within the next five years.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.