HOUSTON, Texas, & PHOENIX, Arizona--A leading Houston dental practice management company has announced that it will begin offering patients the opportunity to secure and store stem cells contained in teeth through its affiliated GMS Dental Centers of Excellence.
After studying National Institutes of Health research that discovered potent stem cells in teeth and after reviewing hundreds of follow-up studies at universities around the world, all five GMS Dental Centers of Excellence in the Greater Houston area are now offering stem cell storage to patients.
Partnering with StemSave, Inc., a provider of stem cell cryopreservation, GMS affiliated dental centers will enable their patients in the Houston area to benefit from emerging advances in personalized and regenerative medical treatments.
Medical research shows potential for a patient's own stem cells to be made into treatments for a wide range of diseases, including Parkinson's disease, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis and multiple sclerosis.
"Dentists are continually studying new developments in dental and medical care that may benefit our patients and their families," said Tim Farrell, DDS, a dentist at GMS' North Loop Office in Houston. "I love telling my patients that we are offering the opportunity to benefit from the promise of non-embryonic stem cell medical advances by saving their own stem cells today. Some are surprised to hear that dentists play such an important role in providing access to future medical treatments."
Adult stem cells are found in everyone from the newborn to the elderly. They are stored in reservoirs around our bodies and they drive our natural healing processes. Adult stem cells are early-stage, non-specific cells with the unique ability to replicate and grow into a wide range of specific cells--bone, muscle, or organ tissue--when we are sick or injured.
Adult stem cells were first identified in the 1960s and, after 40 years of medical research on adult stem cells, scientists are learning more about harnessing the power of and directing the growth of these stem cells to benefit patients. Today, dozens of new medical treatments derived from adult stem cells are being tested in clinical trials with human volunteers.
"StemSave is a unique collaboration between top stem cell researchers and the dental community to develop a safe, affordable, and simple way for patients-- young and old--to collect and preserve their stem cells for a lifetime," said StemSave President, Dr. Gregory Chotkowski. "Most people are already aware of the benefits of saving highly-valued cells today for future use; they've been doing so for years with eggs, sperm, and umbilical cord blood. Now, after the discovery of powerful stem cells in teeth, StemSave offers families the opportunity to benefit from their own stem cells with new medical treatments as they become available."
"After reviewing several options for collecting our patients' stem cells, we quickly concluded that StemSave offers the greatest protection, reliability, convenience, and involvement of stem cell researchers, all elements that are important to GMS Dental and its affiliated dental centers," said Grant Sadler, CEO of GMS Dental. "We studied the research on dental stem cells and felt a sense of urgency to offer our patients an affordable and convenient way to store their families' stem cells. For over 20 years, GMS affiliated dental centers continue to offer the latest advances in dental care, and now, by offering StemSave, we help ensure our patients can participate in the latest advances in health care."
Sadler continued, "With the recent announcement that the Department of Defense will spearhead a $250 million national effort to rapidly apply and fast track the latest techniques in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine to the treatment of injury and trauma to members of our Armed forces wounded in action, we feel that new medical technologies using stem cells developed by the DOD will translate rapidly to the civilian population making broad based stem cell therapies a reality in the very near future."
Dr. Michael Fuentes, an oral surgeon, added, "While our dentists at GMS affiliated dental centers are thrilled to offer our patients the opportunity to store their stem cells, we are also inspired by the motivation of StemSave's founder and President, Dr. Greg Chotkowski who is also an oral surgeon. Dr. Chotkowski's son suffers from Muscular Dystrophy, a disease that may be treatable with stem cells in the years ahead. As a parent whose child is suffering from a debilitating disease, Dr. Chotkowski wants to provide every family with the option of convenient and affordable access to new stem cell-derived medical treatments in the years ahead."
To read more about dental stem cells, go to stem cells.
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