If you’ve had your wisdom teeth removed already, your teeth were probably labeled “biohazard” and thrown away. It’s a shame though because those seemingly useless teeth are actually great sources of life-saving stem cells.
What are Stem Cells?
According to the Mayo Clinic, stem cells are the “body’s raw materials – cells from which all other cells with specialized functions are generated.” With procedures like stem cell transplants, these raw materials can be used to fight cancer, blood-related diseases, and more. Essentially, stem cells are insurance – you hope to never need them, but can take comfort in knowing you have them.
Stemdontics, a company in California, will harvest stem cells from your pulled wisdom teeth. “The dental pulp within healthy adult teeth is one of the most easily accessible sources of stem cells in our bodies to recover,” according to the company’s website. Meanwhile, stem cells from other body tissue, like bone marrow and the liver, require invasive extractions.
Stem Cells and Wisdom Teeth
In terms of ease, extracting from wisdom teeth is the best option. Stemdontics makes it easy too. When you sign up with Stemdontics, you receive a collection kit in the mail. After your removal, the teeth are shipped overnight to the company’s lab.
“When they arrive, the technicians immediately crack open the teeth and remove the pulp, which is the soft, living part of the inside of the tooth. From that they remove the stem cells,” said Klein.
The stem cell processing costs around $2,000, or 4 monthly payments of $499.25. Storage is a monthly fee of $22. For more information, you can check out the company’s enrollment page.
Is this process worth it? It’s hard to tell. Medical technology evolves so fast. Maybe, after decades of storage, you’ll never need to use those stem cells. Conversely, maybe a stem cell transplant will save your life one day. In short, it’s good to have a little insurance in an unsure world.