There’s a reason we waited to post this blog until after April Fool’s Day: it might seem too far-fetched to be believed! While it sounds like something out of science fiction, there’s actually a merit to the idea that we could eventually be regrowing teeth.
A recent scientific study found some pretty solid evidence that tooth regrowth could be possible, but it’s the link itself that’s even more amazing. While we probably won’t be triggering tooth regrowth at our Rochester office anytime soon this is still a pretty amazing finding!
A Not-So-Missing Link
Us humans only get to grow two sets of teeth, and we’re actually born with the basics of both. Contrast that to fish and sharks and you get a completely different picture. Sharks and many fish species are known to constantly regenerate teeth. In fact, some species can have several rows that move like a conveyer belt, replacing teeth continuously as they wear out.
Some shark species can actually go through as many as 3,000 teeth in a lifetime – that’s a lot! So what’s the connection between constantly regenerating teeth and our two measly sets?
Maybe We’re Born With it
The study that changed how we look at our teeth actually found out that we share a common gene with sharks: the one that they use to constantly produce teeth is the same one that controls the growth of our second set!
The results point to a historic gene that sharks and us shared with our last common ancestor. When our evolutionary lines diverged around 4 million years ago that gene changed a lot in both directions, but one thing is for sure: it’s the same basic code at its heart!
Modern humans deactivate that gene once our adult teeth grow in, making our second set the ones we have for good. But what if we could reactivate that gene, or even keep it active? Would we be able to keep growing new teeth our entire lives, or would we be able to flip it on and off like a switch, allowing us to regrow a tooth whenever we need to?
Science Fact, Meet Science Fiction
Here’s where things get tricky, and by “tricky” we mean “currently impossible.” We can’t exactly regrow teeth, nor can we figure out how to turn genes off and on. What this means is that we’re probably a long ways off from being able to regenerate teeth, and there’s no real hope of that changing in the foreseeable future.
Don’t hold your breath for tooth regrowth: you’ll probably be doing it for a while. You’re stuck with reconstruction, restoration, crowns, bridges, and all the other ways we repair teeth at Northwest Dental Group. That doesn’t mean you’re stuck with treatments that aren’t state-of-the-art, however. We can actually restore lost teeth in a way that’s almost just as good as regrowing new ones.
The Next Best Thing To Regrowing Teeth
The days of dealing with missing teeth, dentures, and bridges is over: with modern dental implants we can replace teeth in a way that’s only comparable to the real thing. Dental implants are titanium screws that act like the roots of teeth. In one quick procedure we place them in your jaw, where they bond to the bone and become just as strong as natural teeth.
Implants can replace single teeth, bridges, and even full dentures. Using a method called All-On-Four we can place just four dental implants that are designed to bear the weight of a full arch of teeth. You could actually be rid of your dentures, both upper and lower, for good.
Imagine waking up with a smile just like you did years ago. Imagine oral care being as simple as brushing your teeth: no soaking, pastes, or adhesives necessary. You don’t have to wait for science to regrow teeth – we can get you those results right here in Rochester!
Dental implants, whether single or full mouth, are about 90 percent as functional as the real thing. That means you’ll be able to eat all your favorite foods again, smile without worrying about your dentures, and live life without constantly thinking of your teeth.
Want To Find Out More?
We love talking about dental implants and all they can do for our patients. If you want to find out what we can do for your unique mouth don’t wait another minute: call Northwest Dental Group and schedule an implant consultation!