This is so hard; I didn’t know who else I could write that could help me in my dilemma. My college finals are over and I recently went to oral surgeon’s office about my wisdom teeth. The plan is to have them taken out right after Christmas. The deal is, they’re not hurting. In fact, they are so buried in the bone that they aren’t even close to my other molars.
The weird thing was when I went to the oral surgeon for a consultation, he told me that when he took the wisdom teeth out, he could send all of them to a cryogenics lab where they would extract my stem cells and freeze them in case I needed them in the future to grow new nerve, cartilage, bone, a liver, or even a new heart.
I thought about it a lot, I really did, Santa. Did my research, too and realized that you’ve got some experience dealing with people who want to deep freeze everything they can touch. Here’s what I came up with:
- The company that my dentist is using is called StemSave. It costs about $700 for StemSave to process and store my wisdom teeth for the first year and $100 per year afterwards. Until I use them or die, whichever comes first.
- BioEden is another company that also cryopreserves teeth for future use, with methods and fees similar to StemSave’s.
- The technology for the actual preservation seems good, and wisdom teeth may have more useable adult stem cells compared to bone marrow if I get sick and need them later in life.
- As teeth age, they have fewer stem cells in them.
- There is a bit of controversy on the subject – I’m worried that stem cell banking may be more beneficial for the cryobanking investors than for the patients. There’s not really enough long-term data to suggest anything but hope on the researcher’s parts.
Then I got to thinking in the opposite direction. What if I just left my wisdom teeth in place? Doesn’t my own body work pretty good as an incubator for all those stem cells? Guaranteed to stay a steamy 98.6 degrees (or more), whether or not I make the payments each month? And the future, being so bright and all, maybe there will be a way to harvest my wisdom teeth with lasers instead, and then tease out all those precious tidbits from the insides.
Now I know you’re not a dentist yourself, Santa. But didn’t I hear that one of your elves become part of the North Pole Cavity Patrol? I’ve enclosed a copy of my X-Ray for Dr. Hermey to look at. All I want for Christmas is my four back teeth, one way or the other. Please help me decide what to do, Santa!
Blue Christmas Girl