For over a decade parents have been preserving their newborn’s blood from the umbilical cord to be used in the future for stem cell. The process is expensive, costing families in the thousands for the initial cost with a yearly fee thereafter.
Stem cells are believed to be the future cure of over 80 diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular diseases, and cancers, to name a few. What makes stem cells so unique is their ability to transform to different cells; they can be used to regenerate cartilage and bone tissue.
For parents who are unable to fork out thousands of dollars for the cord blood stem cells, scientists have found a new way to harvest the stem cells from a different part of the body. Instead of safekeeping or throwing out their kids baby teeth, parents can do something far more important with them.
Parents have 48 hours from the moment the tooth is extracted to act. The tooth is placed in a kit sent to the dentist used to preserve the tissue.
"That day is not too far in the future. We will probably see it with our lifetimes where we will be able to dial a gene and figure out how we can fix what's wrong with us," explains Dr. Schmidt.
Many doctors see stem cell as a future life insurance policy. When a person becomes ill, the stem cells can be used to treat the ailment.
Tooth storing's initial fees are anywhere from $600 to $1,700. The annual storage fees run from $90 to $120.