Ann Arbor, MI — November 14, 2013 — A third-year dental student at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry won a second place award for her research from the Student Clinicians of the American Dental Association (SCADA). The national competition was held during the ADA’s annual session in New Orleans.
Emily Eubanks received the award in basic science research for her work that focuses on using stem cells from a patient’s wisdom teeth to regenerate dental tissues to grow new wisdom teeth. She earned the trip to the ADA annual session after winning the Grand Prize during the School’s annual Research Day competition in February.
Since wisdom tooth extraction is a routine procedure, using wisdom tooth stem cells may one day offer dentists and their patients a new option to consider instead of using implants or other prostheses to replace lost teeth.
“The traditional method of isolating similar types of stem cells involves collecting them from bone marrow in the hip, which is invasive and can be painful,” Eubanks said. “But the approach I am working on is neither invasive nor painful.” As she conducted her research, Eubanks discovered that saline can be used to store and preserve wisdom tooth stem cells. Eubanks is mentored by Dr. Darnell Kaigler, an assistant professor in the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine.