TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taipei Medical University established Taiwan’s first tooth bank yesterday to promote autogenoustooth transplantation and research using stem cells from extracted teeth preserved by deep freezing.
Professor Lee Sheng-yang, dean of the university’s School of Oral Hygiene, said the tooth bank will cooperate with the commercial cryogenic tooth bank of Hiroshima University in Japan.
He said that extracted healthy human teeth, including unwanted premolar teeth and wisdom teeth, as well as teeth removed during orthodontic treatments, can be preserved for future autogenous, or self generating, transplants, with better effects than artificial dental implants and at lower costs.
Lee echoed calls made by the “8020 Movement” initiated by the Japan Dental Association in 1989 to encourage Japanese people to have 20 or more of their own teeth even until the age of 80.
According to an estimate by Taipei Medical University, less than 60 percent of the people in Taiwan still have 20 or more of their own teeth at the age of 65 or over.