Dental stem cells are derived from the neural crest. They could self-renew and be clonogenic. Three categories of stem cells have been identified based on their potential and capacity to develop into various cellular types:
- Pluripotent stem cells, also referred to as embryonic stem cells, have the ability to develop into any form of tissue.
- Multipotent stem cells are adult stem cells or postnatal stem cells with the ability to differentiate into many lineages.
- Totipotent stem cells, which can grow into a whole organism.
Deciduous and permanent teeth have been considered a readily accessible source for the isolation and subsequent development of dental pulp cells for tissue engineering use. Dental pulp stem cells were discovered in 2000, and human exfoliated deciduous teeth stem cells (SHED), also known as immature dental pulp stem cells (IDPSC), were discovered in 2003. They are obtained from the dental pulp tissue of the exfoliated deciduous teeth.
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