Alison Bassetto’s voice is steady and brisk as she explains why her husband’s untimely death prompted her to have her 19-year-old son’s wisdom teeth banked.
The practice of cryopreserving children’s baby or wisdom teeth is one that’s been around for a decade. Tooth banking is not currently popular, but the trend is gaining acceptance mainly in the developed countries, researchers have found.
It’s based on experimental research that suggests stem cells extracted from the pulp of these teeth might someday regrow a lost adult tooth or offer other regenerative medicine benefits — some potentially life-saving.
“So I’ll try not to get emotional here, but my husband was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2011,” said Bassetto, of Naperville, Illinois, head of a sales team at a software company.
In 2012, her husband, James, had a stem cell transplant to restore his bone marrow and renew his blood.
“He was very fortunate. He was one of six kids, and his brother was a perfect match,” she said. She noted that her two children, Madeline, 23, and Alex, 19, may not be so lucky if they develop health problems, since they have only each other; the chance of two siblings being a perfect stem cell match is only 25%.
Unfortunately, her husband’s stem cell transplant was not successful. He developed graft-versus-host disease, where his brother’s donated stem cells attacked his own cells, and he died shortly afterward
Source: CNN Health