Monday, December 30, 2013

Scientists Grow Teeth from Urine

A team of scientists have successfully grown teeth with the dental pulp, dentin, enamel space and an enamel organ from urine.   The team was led by Duang Pei,a professor of stem cell biology from Guangzhou Institute of
Growing Teeth From Urine
Biomedicine and Health in China.  Epithelial cells were converted into pluripotent stem cells (IPS) cells.  IPS cells can be grown into different types of tissues including teeth.  "Normally, the way you get cells for reprogramming is that you do a biopsy on the skin," say Pei.  People would rather pee in a cup than hold still for a needle or skin biopsy, especially children.  It's a good way to get cells from kids without being invasive.

Urine is not the only way to get IPS cells, and it's unlikely. "You can drive a lot of IPS cells from a single hair." sais Paul Sharpe, head of the craniofacial development and orthodonticds dept at Kings College London.  "You could make teeth from a hair or from other teeth."

Making a new tooth is difficult.  There needs to be a periodontal ligament that attaches the tooth to the bone, and not just a tooth. Pei's tooth has good roots.  As for urine having bacteria, midstream it is pretty sterile. Pei has never encountered any type of infection.

Urine contains contaminants, so the overall viability of the cells produced poor specimens, explains Dr. John Comisi, a dentist and spokesperson or the Academy o General Dentistry. Chris Mason, a stem cell scientist at University College London, also agreed that urine would not be viable to regenerate teeth.  "You just wouldn't do it this way," he said.  Comisi explained that the science of regenerating teeth from stem cells has be around for more than a decade, using bone marrow and baby teeth. Companies are cryogenically storing baby teeth for science but it is three to five years out. Mason also explained that implanting newly grown teeth to work with existing teeth still needs tackled.

Although not as hard as natural teeth and not yet a viable way to grown teeth, maybe it can become a viable option in the future. Perhaps in the future when people need a dentist, they can replace a bad tooth instead of it.  +Verde Pointe Dental Associates and Marietta dentist  +Kirk Kimmerling DDS look forward to the research becoming a reality. The research was published in Cell Regeneration Journal on July 30, 2013.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest at Dentist and Veterinary Offices

Ugly Sweater Contest is officially underway at +Verde Pointe Dental Associates and +Marietta Vet Clinic for the 2013 season. +Kirk Kimmerling DDS +Suzanna Aguilera and +Julian Peckich DVM are hosting the event with prizes for the ugliest donned sweater on people or pets.
Marietta Dentist and Veterinarian Host Ugly Sweater Contest
To get in on the action, dress yourself or pet with the ugliest holiday sweater and head to the dental or veterinarian office.  On December 31st, two winners will be announced, one from each office. Winners will receive either free dental whitening or a free pet exam. 

The event is quite the rage of the offices, and both staff and doctors look forward to having people and pets participate in the fun!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Your Teeth, The Bite, Good or Bad?

Do you ever wonder if your teeth come together properly?  They should actually close a certain way for the chewing system to function harmoniously.  When teeth, muscles and the jaw joint work well together, muscles are relaxed, the joint is stable and all the teeth contact at the same time along the axis.   A bad bite can cause pain and destruction, and since most of us have bites that are less than ideal, only a dentist can decide if there's cause for concern.

Let's take a look at the common bite disorders.


A crossbite occurs when upper teeth bite on the inside of the lower teeth on one or multiple teeth. Correction
Most People Do Not Have a Perfect Bite
is necessary, as it can cause dysfunctional chewing, asymmetrical jaws, gums disease, bone loss, premature wear on teeth and a less attractive smile. A crossbite generally requires braces, a retainer or expansion with an intra-oral appliance.


An underbite occurs when lower teeth protrude past the upper front teeth.  It occurrs generally because of an undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower, both overgrowth, flared upper incisors, missing teeth or a combination of all.  An underbite can cause chewing problems, proper function of the front teeth, premature wear of teeth, joint malfunction and a less attractive smile.  An underbite can be modified and corrected through growth modification of the jaw, extractions, or orthognathic surgery.


An openbite is usually caused by the patient, himself.  Front teeth, upper and lower jet forward causing them to jet forward and never touch.  Thumb sucking, finger sucking  tongue thrusting, or chewing objects, pacifiers, bottle feeding can cause the condition to occur.  Tempromandibular joint disorder or (TMJ) can also cause the to push teeth into a a comfortable bite.  Although prevention is most desirable, corrections can be made by braces, growth modifications, extrusion of front teeth, and surgery.

Overbite or Deepbite

An overbite, also called a deep bite occurs when the upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth.  Usually there is no contact between the upper and lower front teeth. Upper teeth can erupt too much, or there can be a discrepancy in the jaw where the front of the jaw grows more than the back on the same arch.  An overbite can cause difficulty eating, lower teeth biting into upper tissue, joint malfunction, wear on lower anterior teeth, an unattractive smile.  It can be corrected by orthodontics moving front teeth up possibly back teeth closer together.


An overjet is when lower teeth are too far behind the upper teeth.  It can occur due to thumb or finger sucking, tongue thrusting, molars teeth are improperly aligned, the upper and lower jaws are not properly balanced or missing lower teeth. An overjet can lead to improper function of teeth, premature wear of teeth, and a less attractive smile.  Correction can be possible through growth modification, appliances, and braces.

If you believe your teeth do not align properly, perhaps +Verde Pointe Dental Associates and Marietta Cosmetic dentists +Kirk Kimmerling DDS and +Suzanna Aguilera DMD can help with a consultation.  Only a dentist can help decide the best possible treatment when needed.  The office also accepts a dental emergency when you need them most.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

When a Dentist Says Dam to the Dental Assistant

Calm down if you hear your dentist say, "Dam" to a dental assistant.  The fact is; you now know he's doing a superior job.  The dam, dental dam, rubber dam or in German, Kofferdam is a square sheet of latex used to
"Dam" says a Dentist
reduce contamination during dental procedures, producing superior dentistry.  The dam is placed before treatment and after a patient is numbed.  Most people adapt to it well, and prefer it's use.  Not only does the usage of the dam mean superior dentistry, there is another significant benefit.  Debris created from drilling, dental water syringe, and dental materials are kept from the oral cavity and swallowing.  This too is an added benefit.

According to a study on rubber dam's by the NIH in Sept-Oct 2010, documented a low prevalence of usage by dentists during operative dentistry.  The information was from actual clinical procedures, rather than a questionnaires.  However, usage varied with certain dentist, restorations, and patient-level characteristics.

+Verde Pointe Dental Associates and +Kirk Kimmerling DDS believe in using the dental dam for every procedure possible.  Root canals, dental fillings, crowns, bridges and more are always performed with the use of the dam.   So, if you hear the word dam from a dentist, it's probably a good thing!