Dental implants have become the tool of choice for dentists worldwide. And rightly so. One dental implant instead of a bridge may be more expensive but it will eliminate the need to file down the adjacent teeth that would have to support a bridge. Plus dentists agree that in the long run a bridge will likely be more expensive than the dental implant due to maintenance and replacement. For those in the need of dentures, four-six dental implants can securely hold a permanent bridge in place on the upper and/or lower jaw meaning no more ill fitting dentures. Plus the dentures implants will help keep the jaw bone from receding.

But titanium dental implants could within the next decade or sooner get replaced with real teeth created from your body’s own stem cells according to researchers at Columbia University.  Here’s how it would work: in the socket of the missing tooth, the dentist would place a ‘scaffold’ shaped like the tooth that just fell out. The scaffold would be made of natural material and infused with a growth factor. The dentist would then home stem cells to the scaffold where a tooth would start to grow in the socket and naturally integrate with gums and jaw. Within nine weeks the dentist removes the scaffold to reveal a fully mature tooth.  The lab will be able to create a scaffold for any tooth or multiple teeth in the mouth.