Saving Baby Teeth To Use In The Future: Is It Right?
Trends, both in fashion and medicine have pluses and minuses. They can go both directions and aren’t meant for everyone. A fairly new procedure in which parents have their children’s baby teeth extracted, and saved to utilize the stem cells within the tooth itself is becoming quite popular in India, as well as other countries around the globe. While in the future, these teeth could be the key to a lifesaving procedure, the chance that they will not, and the price to pay for this gamble is also high. Here are some pluses and minuses to extracting baby teeth for stem cells.
Cost – There are a handful of companies around the United States that will extract a baby tooth from your child’s mouth and keep it safe and the stem cells healthy until there is a need or a want for it. The cost for this procedure starts at around $600 and can go up to $1500 for the one time extraction of the tooth alone. An annual fee of $100 is assessed per tooth to keep the stem cells safe and in usable condition. To some this is nothing, but to many people the cost is a major deterrent. If you’re holding that tooth for thirty years, that brings the storage of the tooth to over $30,000 which is the about the same as year of college in a private university.
Return on Investment – Many parents will tell you that the chance that something could help your child’s health and possibly save their life in the future is reason enough to make it happen and that saving a tooth is definitely worth it. Many family’s compare this procedure to storing the umbilical cord for future use, and the option of storing dental stem cell pulp is popular with families that did not have that option.
Chance of working – Most physicians will not promise anything to prospective patients, and do not want to mislead the public into thinking that these cells will definitely save their children now, or even in the future. It is important to understand it is not a guaranteed situation. They want to make sure that it is clear that the stem cell in the tooth is different than others found in other areas of the body, and that the procedures themselves are not yet ready for widespread use. The odds that the procedure will be lifesaving are not full proof.
Overall, the decision to extract, maintain, and utilize stem cells from a child’s baby tooth should be made a per family basis. It is important to not only consult your family physician and dentist before making a decision. There is not one right or wrong answer for everyone.
This is a guest post by Shoshana Davis who is a freelancer and contributor to TopDentists.com.