September 27, 2002
Grown replacement teeth in 10 years

We are getting close to the era of replacement body parts:

U.S. doctors said Thursday they have managed to grow living pig teeth in rats, a feat of biotechnology that experts said could spark a dental revolution.

10 years till we can get new teeth:

The researchers said they hope that within five years they will have developed techniques to grow teeth of a specific size and shape, and that within 10 years it will be possible to regenerate human teeth.

Update: Science Daily has a more detailed report. Note that the estimate here is for 10 to 15 years with more qualifiers:

The Forsyth results, demonstrated in some two dozen experiments, represent the first successful generation of mature tooth crowns containing both dentin and enamel. The results also suggest that it may be possible to grow teeth of a particular size and shape, according to Pamela C. Yelick, PhD, the principal investigator, an Assistant Member of the Staff at Forsyth.

Previous researchers had used alternative approaches to form partial tooth structures including dentin and pulp, but none had grown complete structures that included enamel.

The Forsyth team is the first to report using dissociated tooth tissues (tooth buds enzymatically digested into single cells) combined with polymer scaffolding (a technique used elsewhere to regrow other bodily human tissues) to regenerate teeth.

Also of great importance is the discovery that dental stem cells appear to exist in porcine third molar tissues. "Finding putative epithelial and mesenchymal dental stem cell populations in mammals suggests that similar cells might exist in human beings," Yelick said.

Yelick predicts that within five years, "we will know whether dental stem cells can be manipulated to bioengineer teeth. To generate a human tooth might take an additional five to ten years."

Update: More details on how it was done:

Research Techniques
The Forsyth researchers adapted techniques developed by Joseph Vacanti, MD, director of the Laboratory for Tissue Engineering and Organ Fabrication at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Vacanti has used these techniques to successfully regenerate neonatal intestines, which are derived from specialized epithelial and mesenchymal cells. Likewise, teeth are derived from specialized dental epithelial and mesenchymal cells (see glossary, below).

The Yelick team began by isolating porcine tooth buds. They minced the buds into small clusters of cells, then used enzymes to dissociate the clusters into single cells.

The researchers used these cells to seed biodegradable polymer scaffolds at a sufficient density to support tissue growth, then implanted the scaffolding near the intestines of rats. The main purpose of the scaffolding, made of a polymer material, was to serve as a supporting matrix for the forming tissue.
Within 20-to-30 weeks, small (2x2x2 millimeter) tooth crowns containing both dentin (a bone-like material found under the enamel) and enamel had formed.

Next Steps
The researchersí finding of putative (assumed) dental stem cell populations in mammals suggests that similar cells might exist in humans, but scientists do not yet know the exact location of such cells. In the near future, the Forsyth researchers plan further study on how the regenerated teeth grow, how they interact with the scaffolding, and how best to grow teeth of a specific size and shape.

The researchers believe that within five years, they will have developed the techniques needed to grow such teeth and that within ten years, human tooth regeneration may be possible. DIAGRAM:

A diagram of the tooth formation process is available on the World Wide Web at

Share |      Randall Parker, 2002 September 27 10:50 AM  Biotech Teeth And Gums

razib said at September 27, 2002 7:30 PM:

yeah, teeth are cool. but what about hearts????

Randall Parker said at September 28, 2002 12:09 AM:

Razib, I hear a sense of personal need here. So some girl broke your heart and you already need a new one?

I will be very surprised if within 20 years replacements can't be grown for all major organs. Also, There was a recent result with another organ grown. I think it was kidney. I intend to post on organ growth experiments when I find the time to do some searching.

I'll be doing posts in the future on my greatest interest in bio: aging reversal with truly effective rejuvenation therapies. Gene therapy, cell therapy, and organ replacement will all be part of that.

jaklinvojdani said at April 22, 2003 11:55 PM:

dear sir
i want to know about the teeth .
it is realy we can have another
set of our teeth?
please have a contact with me.
thank you

imrankhan said at May 14, 2003 12:40 PM:

If we can achieve the ability to re-generate teeth naturally, it will be a great scientific advance.

Perhaps looking at what causes the crocodile to be able to re-generate new teeth, might be a way forward.

very interesting subject, which i'd like to follow.

Angel said at June 25, 2003 2:32 PM:

I think this is wonderful! I have had many problems since having children (the calcium being pulled my the baby from my teeth). I am now looking at spending thousands to fix my teeth and to be able to eat real food again without pain. I will be able to smile again soon. This would be a wonderful thing when its perfected and I am sure many other things will be learned from this.

Patricia said at August 21, 2003 2:41 AM:

I assume researchers require live subjects to donate their bodies and their time to this potential revolution of the dental industry. Do you have information about where I could sign up to participate in the research and/or testing stages.

I would definately be willing to donate my mouth to science if it means the chance of a new set of pearly whites! At the very least, I would love an opportunity to follow this research more closely; any links or publication recommendations would be most appreciated.

mike said at October 10, 2003 8:45 AM:

I am giving a presentation on "growing a replacement tooth for implantation" to my dental classmates. Do you have any good sources I can read that would present data on how the body may reject this tissue and how successful transplantations may be etc.


faron paschal said at February 25, 2004 5:11 AM:

To Whom It May Concern

I am a 40 year old man, who lives in Texas. Texas is an area that has a poor water source, and has proven to be hard a persons teeth. I am in need of much dental work, and is expected to be at a high cost.
However, I do have some concerns of what sources will be needed to carry out such an operation as growing new teeth! Questions such as, are chemicals from aborted infants used for this process? And what time frame are we looking at, before this is considered to be safe?

Thank You: Faron Paschal

tom c. said at September 19, 2004 3:11 PM:

Quite a conundrum here. Put off expensive dental replacements in anicipation of a permanent replacement 10 to 15 yrs down the road, if possible at all. If one were to go for dental expensive implants now, would required the modifications to the supporting bone decrease the possibility of future dental growth?
There are a lot of people like myself who would gladly line up for any experimental new growth procedures having nothing to lose except the expense or future opportunity as noted above.

sarah said at May 1, 2005 5:13 PM:

I'm very interested in learning more about the regrowth of tooth. If anyone can help me get more information about the subject and where did the researches reached so far. thank you

Shukri said at May 17, 2005 5:32 PM:

Hi, I recently picked up an interest in dental and teeth in general because I chiped a tooth (front) about 5 years ago which has been filed twice since. As a lover of beautiful teeth which God has blessed me with until I used them as a tool resulting chimping, the crazy idea of what if we can grow new teeth came to my head and went on searching for some information on this subject. I was very delited to come upon this article which reported study on new teeth regrowth and promising future! The thing is, artificial teeth and fillings aren't anywhere close or comparable to the real thing.

I wondered why so called wisdom teeth some times regrow when the rest of permenent teeth won't. I had 4 of my wisdom teeth removed but a new regrowth (just one tooth) showed up on my next xray. My dentist called it luck. I wondered why some people experience this growth when others do not. Wisdom teeth are considered permenent and should not come back once removed.

This is a very exiciting research and it is one that I would like to follow. I would also like to know if there has been any new advances have been made since 2002 relating to this.
I would appreciate any information at all regarding this and resource.

Thank you,


Jeffrey Nicholas said at July 12, 2005 9:00 AM:

I would like it if someone would respond to the post's that ware already out here.
W are ALL very interested in.

Thom said at July 17, 2005 4:00 PM:

I have been researching articles by:

Prof. Sharpe(Odontis)

Pamela Yelick, Ph.D

Mary MacDougall, Ph.D

Dr. Tony Smith

Pamela Gehron Robey, Ph.D and Lawrence Tabak Ph.d


Forsyth Research Institute(Harvard University and working with University in Brazil)

Hitachi Medical Corp.(working with 5 Universities in Japan) (scroll down to the 5th article)

I think not much is being said, is because these companies are thinking about the commercial value of their technology. So, maybe they are keeping a tight lid on their discoveries to protect their investment. For instance, Hitachi Medical Corp. has 5 universities working on different components of this process to regenerate teeth and they are talking about projected revenue with the launch of their product in 2007. Prof. Paul Sharpe has set-up Odontis and Dentigenix is licensing technology from Forsyth Research Institute to further their project. Currently, $895 million dollars a year are being spent on dental implants. These companies want a piece of that action and that type of competition gets us closer to having our natural teeth back.

Also, US companies and/or universities are partnering with foreign companies/universities, is this because research in foreign countries have less restrictions then the US?

I hope these articles help and if you come across a new article please post it.

Fred said at July 18, 2005 3:50 PM:

This thred is more active on the same topic!

mickey said at August 30, 2005 1:58 PM:

I worked in a physiology lab back in 2001. There they had a journal club, where researchers would bring in articles on what other institutions were doing. At the time, I remember an article from Harvard. Researchers there grew a bladder for a little girl who was born with 1/3 of the normal size of a bladder. She had it transplanted and was doing well. I don't know which journal the article came from, sadly enough. But I am sure you can run a search for it.

Rene said at November 2, 2005 10:52 PM:

Please add me to your mailing list

marianne said at February 21, 2006 2:37 PM:

Yes I would also like to be added to the maillist. I viewed an article on the news relating to The Forsyth group sucessfully engineering a tooth last year. It seems there are many more companies looking at tooth regeneration and more funding being put in by stakeholders. This makes it more competitive and hopefully will push the technology along faster. Very exciting that the Hitachi compnay will in fact launch their product in 2007...I wonder how much it will cost??

star said at June 16, 2006 11:57 PM:

i think this is amazing . would like to learn more . plz add me to ur mailing list

shauna said at February 10, 2007 7:20 PM:

Remarkable, please add me to your maillist.

Bob said at May 8, 2007 12:42 AM:

What I really don't get with the article is that, are they growing the so called "replacement" teeth and placing it on human for example a "dental crown but with real teeth" or regenerating the teeth in the individual's mouth.

Zero said at November 10, 2007 12:21 AM:

I would to know if there is some way we can fund this research.

I would start a Fundraiser if it is needed.

saena said at November 13, 2007 12:58 AM:

Hi,i'm strongly interested to be volunteer in this treatment.Is it possible? anf if it is ,please informe me.becuase this was exactly my dream for long time.And now it becomes true.And plz add me to your mailing list.

luke said at September 19, 2008 5:05 AM:

If they do bring this out, they'll make more money than implants etc... with implants people tend too look after the teeth more. If we have the ability to grow our teeth back then both the dental industry will make money from this and the food industry.

priya said at October 22, 2008 6:16 AM:

please add me to your mail list
can u tell me how far has this reasearch come to?
can we expect this to happen in next 2 to 3 years?

Rajat Hooja said at February 9, 2010 10:01 PM:

how much does it cost and where is it today, 10 february 2010?

Lila said at July 21, 2012 4:02 PM:

Ten years later...

Chares Weber said at October 13, 2013 10:51 PM:

I have found that the anacardic acids in raw cashew nuts and maybe mangoes do an excellent job of curing an abscess from gram positive bacteria, which are the most prevalent cause of tooth decay and tooth aches. It is conceivable that mango fruits may have sufficient anacardic acids as well. You may see my article on this subject at; . It is also discussed briefly in the 2005 edition of Medical Hypotheses, 65; 289-292. Wikipedia discusses anacardic acids in .
You may feel free to use any information in the first URL without concern over copyright.
I would like to urge you to explore making these medicines available in the pure form from pharmacies or as tooth paste. It would be much more effective in killing decay bacteria than fluoride and without the dangerous side effects (see http://charles_w, ). This would be especially valuable since these medicines would probably prove to be valuable against other gram positive diseases such as acne, leprosy, Streptococci, Staphylococcus aureus, anthrax, Listeria monocytogenes, Actinomyces naeslundi, Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Streptococcus agalactiae, Propionibacterium spp,
and maybe even tuberculosis as well.
Sincerely, Charles Weber
PS Dr. Rastmanesh, a nutritionist from Iran, would like to secure a position in an English speaking university because of religious or political problems. He has an impressive CV. If you know of an opening I will send you his CV. It would be a travesty to leave that fine scientist in that criminal country after he got rid of rheumatoid arthritis for us.

Steve said at October 13, 2015 2:53 PM:

!3 Years later.. lol

Seamus said at October 13, 2015 2:55 PM:

13 Years later...

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