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What Kind of Tooth is a Mesiodens?

May 11, 2018

Filed under: Mesiodens or Supernumerary teeth,Tooth Information — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 7:00 am

What Kind of Tooth is a Mesiodens?

The tooth erupting on the palate is a mesiodens. It is quite large and visible compared to some.

What kind of tooth is a mesiodens?  I will tell you and show you one!  A mesiodens is an extra tooth, also called a supernumerary tooth, that occurs in the middle of the mouth.  The typical location is between the upper front teeth.  It may occur between the central incisors, in front of them or behind them.  These teeth are almost always recommended to be extracted due to their position in the mouth.

  • Mesiodens are often pointy like the one shown here
  • I have never seen an attractive mesiodens
  • This extra tooth can push of the teeth that are supposed to be there and cause alignment problems
  • Mesiodens may interfere with chewing
  • Often the patient is unaware that a mesiodens tooth is present
  • Mesiodens are usually picked up or ‘discovered’ with a dental x-ray.
  • They are rare!

In our patient, the mesiodens was first noted on a panoramic x-ray which shows the teeth from ear to ear.  The tooth later erupted into his mouth on the palate behind the front teeth.  Although the tooth wasn’t really bothering him, it did bother his mother and it was visible in his mouth.  He was about to begin orthodontic treatment and for these reasons, we recommended that the mesiodens be extracted.

In this photo the Mesiodens is seen between the front teeth on a 7 year old patient.

What Kind of Tooth is a Mesiodens? The Mesiodens is harder to see here behind the upper front teeth on our patient who is about 6 in this photo.

The procedure is done most comfortably in an office where the patient can sleep through the procedure but most dentists are comfortable completing this extraction under local anesthetic.  Mesiodens teeth are usually discovered at a young age when the patient may not be as comfortable in a dental chair.  For this reason, I believe that the extraction is usually done under general anesthesia which often means seeing an oral surgeon.

The Mesiodens is just visible behind the upper front teeth.

Our office wants our patients to be as comfortable as possible for their dental treatment and we will always provide options for dental care.

Our office is in the Grand Valley on the Western Slope of Colorado and we serve patients from Grand Junction, CO, Palisade, CO, Fruita, CO; Clifton, CO and surrounding communities.  Please call our office (970) 242-3635 if you need a general or cosmetic dentist.  We would love to see you!  We see lots of children in our practice when their parents are also patients!

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS, AAACD

Restoring Teeth/Restoring Smiles

 

 

Are There Stem Cells In Teeth?

May 4, 2018

Filed under: Missing Tooth or Teeth,Tooth Information — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 7:27 am

Are There Stem Cells in Teeth?

Could it be that your teeth may someday save your life?

There are stem cells in teeth!  Dare I mention mesenchymal stem cells?  Yes! Within your teeth are potent stem cells that could help with both medical and dental conditions.  When people hear ‘stem cells’ they may think of fetal tissues or the questionable harvesting of cells from a placenta or embryo.  Actually, stem cells are found in many places in our bodies such as in the blood, in bone marrow, muscles, and in fatty tissue.  The broken tooth here may contain healthy stem cells – do we save them?

Sometimes a healthy tooth has to be extracted. Maybe someday soon we will be saving stem cells from within your teeth!

Harvesting stem cells from extracted teeth sounds futuristic and even off.  However mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are located within the pulp chambers of vital teeth – teeth that are alive.  This is not true for decayed, and infected teeth that are extracted for say an abscess, but is true for teeth that are extracted for orthodontic treatment or the removal of wisdom teeth due to lack of space.

Multipotent MSCs – think of these as ‘Superman MSCs’ can be altered to change into other tissues such as muscle, tendons, blood, nerve tissue and even bone!  Maybe someday we will be able to grow new teeth from your own cells.  Based on an article by Mark Malterud, DDS, MAGD “Mesenchymal stem cells: the marriage of minimally invasive biomimetic dentistry with medicine.” General Dentistry magazine in the November/December 2017,

Could it be that your teeth may someday save your life? When a healthy tooth has to be extracted maybe we should be saving the stem cells that are inside these teeth!

This tooth is fractured, but it may still have viable stem cells inside. Should we save these?

“There are between 2 and 4 million of these cells in each vital tooth from donors aged 13 – 25 years; the numbers begin to decrease after the age of 25 years.”

That’s still a lot of cells in a single extracted tooth!  There are even MSCs in the periodontal ligament that holds teeth in the bone.  Because these cells are formed during very early development, they can be differentiated into the specific cells needed.  The thought presented in this article is that is we harvest and save these cells, we may be able to prevent the more invasive harvesting of stem cells for some purpose in the future.

Already in dentistry we can draw a small amount of your blood during a surgery, spin it down, and take the platelet-rich plasma to use for improving our success with your bone or tissue graft.  We may even be able to bring new life to a tooth requiring a root canal!

Already in the US, several companies process and cryogenically store MSCs from dental pulps.  The dentist would need to have a special processing kit to use once it was determined that the tooth needing to be extracted was indeed viable.

  • Determine tooth viability
  • Sign forms
  • Careful extraction
  • Your tooth is placed in a special container in a transport medium
  • Container is sealed and shipped overnight super express in ice
  • Once received the tooth is ‘processed’
    • Washed
    • Disinfected
    • Sectioned
    • Tissue is broken into very small pieces
    • Pieces are suspended in a flask
    • Cells are grown and allowed to multiply
    • MSCs cells are separated from others that were also there
  • Dental pulp MSCs grow readily in standard culture media
  • Once there are ’enough’ good cells, they are frozen to a super cold temperature where they will remain until needed.

So, the patient has this source of cells for a future need such as an injury or disease.  You would call the storage facility (this article mentioned Tooth Bank, BioEden, Stem Save, and Store-A-Tooth), request that your stem cells be delivered to the dentist, doctor, or clinic where they can be processed, or the storage facility could modify the cells as needed.  Your MSCs could potentially be influenced to create the specific tissues that just might save your life, or just make it better.

Sometimes I just like to share interesting stories.  This blog is for you dear reader of blogs!  Our office is in the Grand Valley on the Western Slope of Colorado and we serve patients from Grand Junction, CO, Palisade, CO, Fruita, CO; Clifton, CO and surrounding communities.  Please call our office (970) 242-3635 if you need a general or cosmetic dentist.  We would love to see you!

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS, AAACD

Restoring Teeth/Restoring Smiles