Pioneering Gloucester Street Dental Practice in Cirencester offers chance to cure cancer with new dental pulp stem cell service
A PIONEERING dental practice in Cirencester will soon be offering patients the chance to store disease-fighting stem cells when they have a tooth removed.
From next month, adults and children who visit the Gloucester Street Dental Practice to have a healthy tooth removed will be given the choice of whether to throw it away or send it to scientists for stem cells to be harvested.
The specialised cells have the potential to heal and restore damaged tissues and can cure people of otherwise difficult to treat diseases, such as cancer.
At £1,385 this service by London-based company Precious Cells does not come cheap, but once the specialised cells are extracted they can be stored for thirty years.
Gloucester Street practice manager Rosy Chan said: "It offers people peace of mind that if they or their children do become ill in the future they have their own stem cells to help."
Stem cells taken from bone marrow and umbilical cords have been used routinely for a number of years to treat diseases such as acute and chronic leukaemia and lymphoma.
The use of dental stem cells for medical purposes is still at the clinical trial stage, but a Precious Cells spokesman said results on humans have so far been "hugely successful".
Mrs Chan said: "This isn’t for everyone – it’s the patient's choice."
She added that teeth could not be removed purely to harvest stem cells as this would be unethical.
"It has to be a bi-product, so for example it could be that a child’s milk tooth is naturally falling out or you’ve got too many teeth and you need braces, so you need a tooth removed," she said.
Once healthy teeth have been removed they will be sent off to Precious Cells’ laboratory at Brunel University in London, where stem cells called Mesenchymal are extracted from tissue close to the root, known as dental pulp.
The cells are then frozen and stored at a cell bank, which can be accessed by the patient from anywhere in the world.
To launch this "exciting venture", Gloucester Street Dental Practice is hosting an open day on Tuesday, November 6, where special offers will be available and members of the dental team and Precious Cells will be on hand all day to answer questions.
To find out more, contact Gloucester Street Dental Practice on 01285 653251 or visit precious-cells.com